2009-11-26 - ThanksLiving
I didnt originate the word thanksliving, and I dont know who did. But I think its apropos not only for this time of year (Thanksgiving week, in the US ), but year-round for all of us. In fact, per the Apostle Paul, its to be our lifestyle, giving thanks in everything:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB) In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Does this mean we have to act like everythings wonderful, when we are hurting, angry, worried or stressed? Absolutely not. Both the Psalmists and our Lord Christ expressed anger, grief, depression and other emotions; in fact, it's unhealthy to supress our feelings, and they will come out later, sometimes tragically (like loved ones who feel they have to say they are joyous their loved one is 'with God' and then kill themselves). But no matter what we are going through, we still have much for which we should thank God.
Normally, we tend to make resolutions on New Years Eve, but I challenge us all, as we express our thanks for Gods many blessings this coming Thursday, to cultivate a habit of thanksliving in our daily lives.
How can we live a life of thanksliving? Sometimes, its as simple as intentionally thinking of things for which we are grateful, whether weekly, daily or sporadically.
And at other times, it can translate into actively doing good deeds to demonstrate our thanksgiving. If we have a full refrigerator (or overflowing in some cases), we can donate some food to folks whose cupboards are bare. If we have loving family members and friends, we can provide a listening ear to a lonely soul or even invite them to eat a meal with us (whether in or out). I would love to hear any ideas you have, and if I receive some, I will publish them in an upcoming devotional.
And of course, the answer that would cover all bases would be that we show God our appreciation, by living lives of loving obedience to Him. Then everything else will naturally fall into place.
On behalf of the staff of CF Devotionals / Webservants Ministries, I would like to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving and a life of thanksliving. We know this is a difficult time for many who have recently lost loved ones, or are facing other painful times. And you will be in our prayers.