It is 18:00 on a Friday night and as I sometimes work on Saturdays, I try to drink in my last bit of ‘weekend’. I am enjoying a cup a coffee with the scent of vanilla candles and my favorite gospel music in the background, as I admire my incredible sunset view outside my window.
For the outside world, today was Black Friday, but for me it was just a normal church day with cooler weather than usual. As most of you probably know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, which kick-starts the Christmas Shopping season with promotional sales. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. It is an official celebration mainly in the US, but these days it is also celebrated in Canada, Grenada, the Philippines, Saint Lucia, Liberia and the Netherlands. The day after Thanksgiving was called “Black Friday” in a 1951 journal, referring to workers calling in sick in order to have a four-day Thanksgiving weekend.
So, as a side note, while the Christmas season is promoted in full force in the shopping centers and being used as bait for sales, we see once again that some things like Thanksgiving and Christmas that should be done primarily for Jesus Christ to be glorified, are being held to meet up with family, prepare loads of meals, to drink, have a feast and to forget about the single, most important reason for celebrating – God.
Now as I have never celebrated Thanksgiving before and seeing all the Americans celebrating this event, I thought to myself: If I could sit at a big table on Thanksgiving night, together with my whole family, amazing food and lots of laughter, and each family member gets a change to say something, what would I say… What am I thankful for?
Now you see, I cannot say that I am thankful for my job, for instance, when I complain about it too often. Or that I am thankful for my husband, when my actions show the opposite. Or even that I am thankful for God’s grace in my life, though I deny Him daily in the smallest of deeds.
How blessed am I? Do I truly know the worth of the things in my life that I so often take for granted?
What if that person is you today? What will you say at your Thanksgiving table? Think about it.
What do you spend your time and money on? Is it the things that have eternal worth? Your loved ones, the poor, the sick and the needy? The Word of God, His presence, your church community and on your spiritual well-being? Or do you spend most of your time and money on social media, fashion items, computer games and series, new cars and more business deals?
The thing that you are most thankful for should logically be the very thing that you decide to spend most of your time on. Otherwise it would just be foolish, right? You can’t really say you are thankful for your family, yet you would rather take on a second job – to earn more money and feel more successful – than having that hour at night to spend with your children before their bedtime, or than going to visit your family more than once a year. If you are thankful for your health, are you treating your body as a temple of Christ, as regards to what you eat and drink and do with it? Maybe you are truly thankful for your job, so when the office hours and working with clients and colleagues get very challenging, you are constantly focusing on working as for the Lord and not unto men (Colossians 3:23-24).
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 5:3 (ESV)
If you read the book of Ephesians, you will see that Paul was a grateful man, even though in our eyes of the flesh, he would surely not be stated as a blessed man. Earlier, when he had been imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).The Apostle Paul was a man who had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. Thanksgiving for the Apostle Paul was not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that changed his life and made him a joyful person in every situation.
In the world of today, we know that ingratitude and thanklessness are very common. We expect so much, yet value so little. Children forget to thank their parents for everything they do. Common courtesy is scorned. We take for granted the smallest of blessings in our daily lives. Above all, we so often fail to thank God for His blessings.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I recently read an article on the Kenneth Copeland Ministries website, and it said: “We all want to live blessed lives and experience the promises and blessings of God. We want to live lives where we’re free from sickness and disease, our relationships are thriving, money isn’t a struggle, debts and bills are paid, and we are blessing others. But many Christians struggle with how to take hold of these blessings. In the Bible, God gives us the key over and over again to unlocking His blessings. That key, in a phrase, is delight yourself in the Lord. Psalm 112:1, KJV, says it this way, ‘Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.’ ”
In order to receive God’s blessings and live a blessed life, we have to realize that God is the Source of all blessing. In saying that, I also mean that we have to see that everything He does is to bless us in the long run so that His name will be glorified, thus we must also remember that His commandments lead to eternal blessing.
He has blessed us beyond words and will continue doing so in ways we cannot even imagine. If only we believed in His plans and His unfailing word. He is the Lord of miracles and the Lord of blessings.
What am I most thankful for?
I am thankful to serve an endless merciful and holy God as my Savior. I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful to have people in my life who pray for me. I am thankful for a place to call home. And I am thankful for new beginnings.
How blessed are you?
After writing this blog post, I read this amazing, inspiring article: