Previous posts in the Live Alive series can be found here.
It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Happy Thanksgiving! The whole month is spent with extra focus on what we are thankful for. Perhaps the most important question we need to ask is: What's the point of giving thanks? Obviously it is important to be thankful and it is universally agreed that being thankful is good for your mind, body, and soul. We can also agree that sometimes giving thanks is hard. We find ourselves in a bad mood or very trying circumstances and expressing thanks is the last thing on our mind. Complaining or despair come out of us a lot more quickly. Another observation I've made about how we give thanks, is that we often give it in comparison to something else. I'm thankful for X, because it could be a lot worse. It is hard to give pure, unadulterated thanks.
Perhaps that is why in the Bible, over and over, we find verses reminding us to give thanks or be thankful. The default of our old, sinful nature is not to look at God and give thanks. The fact of the matter is that thanks giving has an object - the Giver. Sometimes people use the phrase "return thanks," which perfectly illustrates the idea of giving thanks in return to the One who has provided all things. The one who is alive in Christ gives thanks to the one who made him or her alive: God the Father, Son, and Spirit. Living alive is to live thankfully. Not only does the alive person know they have been redeemed and daily gives thanks for that, but they are also perpetually aware of how dependent they are on the Giver. They know all they have and are has been given to them: every gift, thing, experience, personality trait, etc.
A truly thankful heart develops out of an awareness that nothing is deserved and all has been given. Today as you give thanks, turn your heart toward the Giver in awe and wonder at what He has done and how He has provided for you. May the Lord transform our hearts from ungrateful to thankful, even this day.
Here's a biblical description for being in God's will; not surprisingly, thanks giving is included:
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:16-16
The Lord in time will help us each understand what this looks like as He transforms us more into the likeness of Christ. In the meantime, live alive by giving it a go in response to His command! I do pray this is a wonderful Thanksgiving day for you today. We all know holidays can be "interesting" with family and friends - a perfect opportunity to rejoice, pray, and give thanks in all circumstances, right?! 😉
Live alive: give thanks!
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