Some Thanksgiving Thoughts for 2018

Thanksgiving is almost here, and of course that means Christmas is right on its heels. I think sometimes as we’re focusing on Christmas that we forget about what a blessing Thanksgiving really is. We live in a nation where we have such great freedoms that we never want to take them for granted.

Maybe you’re thinking, “You don’t know what I’m going through. I’m so stressed right now. I’m facing a problem, and I don’t want to give thanks.”

Sometimes praising God is a sacrifice, but we should always do it. When something good happens to us, we should remember to say thank you. When something good happens in our lives, we should give God the glory.

Maybe something great has just happened to you or you’ve heard good news. Tell God thank you. What about when things aren’t going well? You still need to say thank you.

The Bible says we should give thanks to the Lord because he is good (see Psalm 106:1). The Bible also says this about giving thanks: “Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name” (Hebrews 13:15 NLT).

I believe the things that we call bad in this life actually may not be as bad as we think they are. We need a little time to pass until we can look back with some 20/20 hindsight and get the big picture. When I get to heaven and look back on my life, I think some of the things I thought were bad may actually turn out to have been very good things, because those so-called bad things produced something in me that was necessary.

The Bible tells the story of Joseph, who was sent to prison after being falsely charged. I don’t think Joseph thought that was a good thing. But God was preparing him for something. In Joseph’s case, he would become the second-most powerful man on the face of the earth, second only to the pharaoh himself.

When I was a kid, I lived for a number of years with my grandparents, Charles and Stella McDaniel. They were from Arkansas, and my grandmother was the greatest cook of all time. She would make everything from scratch, and it was all southern food. Her crowning culinary achievement, however, was the biscuits she would make. In fact, I’ve spent my life searching for a biscuit as good as my grandmother’s.

She used vegetable oil, self-rising flour and buttermilk to create these biscuits. Now, I’m not going to sit down and have a cup of self-rising flour for lunch, and I’m not going to drink a little vegetable oil. Nor will I drink buttermilk (though some people do; I don’t know why). But when my grandmother carefully brought all of those elements together and put them into a hot oven, out came those excellent biscuits.

God takes the events of our lives, both good and bad, mixes them together with expert hands, and puts them into the oven of adversity. And when it’s all done, we realize that it is good.

The Bible reminds us that “our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT).

The apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV). Notice it says, “In everything give thanks.” There are no exceptions, no excuses. Nothing is outside these parameters.

In the original language, the phrase translated “in everything” means “in connection with everything that occurs.” This, of course, would not include our sins. I wouldn’t give thanks for a sin I’ve committed or for the repercussions I face as a result. But I would be thankful for the other things.

A classic example is Job. In a relatively short time, he lost everything that was precious to him. Yet Job gave thanks to God. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 NLT).

You might say, “Greg, my heart isn’t in it.” It doesn’t matter whether your heart is in it. This is about giving thanks because God is good. It’s about giving thanks because he’s in control of all the circumstances surrounding your life. Job gave thanks to the Lord, and we should do the same.

The Bible gives an account of 10 men with leprosy who were healed by Jesus. At that time, leprosy was an incurable disease. If you had leprosy, it was only a matter of time until you would die. Plus, you were ostracized in your community.

These 10 men with leprosy asked Jesus to heal them, and Jesus did. But only one of the men returned to thank him. In fact, the Bible tells us that “one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks” (Luke 17:15–16 NKJV).

Jesus said, “Were there not 10 cleansed? But where are the nine?” (verse 17 NKJV). You see, we’re quick to receive blessings from God, but we’re not so quick to return thanks to God.

Maybe you’re going through what seems like a bad thing, but it actually may be a good thing. Tell your Father in heaven that you love him. Give verbal praise to God. I think that’s a very important thing for all of us to remember at all times – not only on Thanksgiving, but on every day of the year.

13 thoughts on “Some Thanksgiving Thoughts for 2018”

  1. Claudia says:

    You’re message always comes right on time in my life when I do feel like “Pastor Greg you don’t know my problem” You just bring that inspiring word of hope to my life. Amen

  2. Linda RIVERA says:

    Thank you for your message it was very meaningful I began going to your church on June 6th 2018 and I don’t want to stop, keeps doing what you’re doing and thanks to God for you and I in Jesus name I will pray, amen

  3. Peter Kochopolous says:

    I sometimes get so wrapped up in things I’m doing in this life and in my spiritual walk and trying to learn his word that I forget that anything I’ve experienced or have earned and own couldn’t have been without the Lord. I’m saying this now, I’m sorry my precious Lord please forgive me for not praising you and giving thanks to you for everything you’ve done in my life…I love you!

  4. Michele Herron says:

    Thank you for the wonderful reminders of Jesus’ love for us! I am and will forever be grateful for my difficult circumstances. They are leading me to your church. I can’t wait to be a servant!!!

  5. Vern Raikoglo says:

    (NIV Psalms 107 V1)
    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good his love endures forever.

  6. Vern Raikoglo says:

    Give thanks to the Lord ,for he is good his love endures forever .Psalms 107 verse 1
    (NIV)

  7. Vern Raikoglo says:

    Give thanks to the Lord ,for he is good his love endures forever .Psalms 107 verse 1
    (NIV)
    Thank you for the encouragement

  8. THEODORE. NORMAN says:

    THANKS. FOR. ENCOURGING. WORD.

  9. Ray Jr Patterson says:

    Give thanks ALWAYS.

    Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

  10. Joe Garcia says:

    Amen!!!

  11. Lee Sherck says:

    Thanks for your message

    1. rob williams says:

      these words mean a great deal to me, they have change my heart so incredibly thankful

    2. Calawag06@gmail.com says:

      God is very infortant to me as Christian,coz he is only have power for everything on this earth and he is good to us…and I thank you his Love, grace,protections, guidance, and peace …for being my saviour…Amen

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