November is here, the month of Thanksgiving. It seems with the holiday of Thanksgiving approaching, the action of giving thanks becomes a bit more of a priority. All the things we have to be thankful for rush into our minds and gratitude fills the heart. A month of remembering and recognizing God’s working in our lives.
In God's Word we are called to give thanks always.
Thanksgiving is a beautiful interaction with God. It is a recognizing of His working and provision in our lives. It is acknowledging His love and sovereignty. It is trusting His love and sovereignty. It lifts the spirit and humbles the heart. It keeps complaining and criticizing out of our hearts and off of our lips. Instead, it causes gratitude, praise, and encouragement to flow from our hearts to our lips.
Yes, thanksgiving is beautiful. For we serve a beautiful God who makes everything beautiful in its time.
In everything, there is a season. In everything, there is a reason for thanksgiving. God is working all out for our good as we live in a love relationship with Him.
In the November of last year, I began listing things I was thankful for in my journal. Amidst my prayers and reflections, there are 1153 (and counting) Thank Yous. This gratitude list has now spread into a second journal and has spanned both good times, hard times, and tragic times in my life. It’s a physical reminder to me of who God is and all He has done. One thing I’ve noticed when I look back over this list of gratitude is how God’s goodness and faithfulness has spanned both good times, hard times, and tragic times. God’s goodness and faithfulness was right there in the painful, lonely, regretful, and messy times. It was His goodness and faithfulness that made those times bearable. It was His goodness and faithfulness that brought joy, love, peace, and hope to my heart, and all those lovely moments and amazing adventures into my life.
I want to keep seeing God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life, and to keep trusting Him with my life.
Maybe you’re not seeing this love, this sovereignty, this goodness, this faithfulness? Maybe you’re right in the middle of some painful, lonely, regretful or messy time? Maybe you’re praying and for some joy, love, peace, and hope?
Maybe you could interact with God, right here, right now, right in this time, no matter how this time is looking and feeling for you. Maybe you could experience Him.
And maybe this maybe isn’t a maybe, but really a definitely. You can definitely interact with God and experience Him. Through thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in all; in all the painful, lonely, regretful, and messy. So all His joy, love, hope, and peace can flood your heart and soul.
But where do we start? How do we offer thanks from a heart that is weary and battered? How do we begin to recognize those expressions of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love?
We can start by looking to God’s Word. In God’s Word, we are called to be thankful, and in His Word we find descriptions of who God is and all He has done. As we read of His character, we can begin to see God revealing Himself in our everyday lives.
Here are some of my favorite verses that describe what God has already done for us and given to us:
Here are some of my favorite verses that describe God’s ongoing work and provision in our lives:
In those times of pain, loneliness, regret, and ugly messes, we can stand on the truth and promises of God’s Word. Thanksgiving reminds our hearts who is with us and who is in control, and thanksgiving is a submitting of our hearts to God; a trusting His will and His way.
Take some time to meditate on the above verses, and ponder these questions:
How have you seen the truth and promises of God’s Word displayed in your own life? Have you recently thanked Him for His love, salvation, and forgiveness? Has God expressed His love, salvation, and forgiveness to you in the past week?
During the month of November, I plan to continue writing posts about thanksgiving, that we may continue to recognize God’s hand in our lives.