God Thought 11/22/23

Thanksgiving Should Never End

By Vanessa Small
A Young People's Ministries Writer
This year, not all of my family could be together on Thanksgiving Day, so we plan to have a Thanksgiving gathering on a day in early December. Regardless of the specific date on which we celebrate, it will still be a special occasion. Besides, giving thanks is something that should occur every day of the year, not just on the official holiday.
Throughout the Scriptures, we are reminded to give thanks to the Lord:
  • “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1 NIV)
  • “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” (1 Chronicles 16:8 NIV)
  • “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Chronicles 16:8 NIV)
  • “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)
God is so good, and His people truly should have a thankful heart, praising Him for who He is and what He has done. Unfortunately, His people haven't always had that thankful heart.
In the book of Numbers, we read about the Israelites’ experience in the wilderness. The people were constantly grumbling against God instead of trusting Him. They had seen His awesome wonders and grace. He sent manna from heaven and provided water from a rock. God had miraculously delivered them from slavery in Egypt, but their hearts were turning back. Here they were experiencing God’s miraculous provision, but they seem to have taken it for granted. As soon as God had done one thing for them, they were wanting something else and finding another reason to grumble. Their faith and focus were not where they should have been.
It’s easy to judge the Israelites as unthankful complainers, but I realize that I probably am not much different. How many times do I experience God’s great blessings in my life, but then look at another situation and start complaining about that instead of praising and thanking God for His goodness? How many times do I focus my attention on my problems and needs instead of on Jesus and His love?
In the United States, we set aside one day each year in November as a day to give thanks. We often gather with loved ones and enjoy a large feast. We list all our blessings for which we are thankful. But for too many of us, it ends there. We get up from that table and go back to our normal routine. Instead of remaining in that attitude of thankfulness, we start grumbling about football game scores, dirty dishes, or long lines at the store.
I pray that our hearts will remain in an attitude of thanksgiving all year round. God is good every day, not just on the fourth Thursday in November. Let’s thank Him each day.

Discussion Question: Why do you want to praise and thank God today? In big things and small things, give thanks in all things.
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