Count Your Blessings
Psalm 69:30 “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and an important time for Christian reflection. A heart overflowing with thankfulness is a central part of the Christian life. It’s a significant part of our worship and a foundational aspect of our spiritual health. God would have us worship Him partly through giving thanks. In this, we recognize the good provision of God in our lives and show contentment with the station in life God has provided for us. When we do not give thanks from a truly grateful heart, we will very quickly spiral into a hardness of heart characterized by covetousness, jealousy, discontent, and general interpersonal distance from God and those around us. As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, this attitude will quench, or choke out, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Therefore, we must be intentional about giving thanks.
I encourage you over the next few days to make time to sit down with a sheet of paper in a quiet place. Pray and thank God for how He has met your needs, and ask Him to give you a heart of thankfulness. Then sit for a while and do the best you can to fill that paper with everything you can possibly think of that you are thankful for. When you’re finished, pray again and offer your thanksgiving as worship to Jesus for what he has done, and is doing in your life.
Your thanksgiving list should be full of names, as the relationships that God gives us are the most valuable part of life. I next encourage you to text, call, or write many of those names to let them know personally that you are thankful for their friendship. In this way, thanksgiving turns into encouragement!
Know that you, as a church, will be near the top of my list this year. It is a tremendous blessing to be with you all each week. I’m encouraged, instructed, and drawn closer to the Lord Jesus every week by being around you all. It is a small glimpse of what heaven will be like – many joyful followers of Christ together with Jesus, enjoying each other’s presence unhindered by sin or the pressure of time. What a joy that will be!
May you cultivate a thankful heart this week, and all year long.
Thankful for each of you,