10 Things to Be Thankful for During Tough Times

givethanks

If you’re like me, you appreciate practical tools to help you in your Christian life. With Thanksgiving approaching, here’s a gift to enable you to cultivate grateful hearts in those with whom you gather.

First of all, living in our increasingly secular society, it’s important we remind ourselves of the pertinent facts concerning the holiday of Thanksgiving. In 1863, a Christian president, Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed a national day of “thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in heaven.”

Second, the first Thanksgiving holiday was a joyous event celebrated by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims who enjoyed a plentiful harvest after their prayers and hard work redeemed a very difficult first year in America. Remember that the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact stating that their purpose of leaving England and coming to America was religious freedom not selfish greed.

That purpose is clearly stated: “For the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” Subsequently, they joined together for three days of prayerful thanksgiving to God for the harvest and the blessings He bestowed upon them.

It’s important to review these facts with family members and guests, lest we fall prey to thinking this is just a day off for feasting, football and Friday shopping prep!

Third, as Christians, we always want to cultivate thankfulness in our lives. Recall how Jesus had 10 lepers whom He healed and yet only one came back to say thank you. God gives us a directive, not an elective: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18). We need to develop the habit of giving thanks “in” everything, not necessarily “for” everything that comes our way.

10 Thanksgiving Talking Points

Feel free to adapt, delete or custom design the following questions, or to use them as a springboard for some great interaction in a short devotional time before or after eating or while enjoying that scrumptious meal.

1. Thank God for sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life and then died the death we deserved. Why does this matter? What does it mean to you?

2. Thank God for the gift of freedom upon which America was uniquely founded. Ours is the only nation in history ever established on the principle that “all men are created equal” and enjoy certain rights that do not come from a dictator, king or government, but rather from the living God.

3. Thank God for all the bountiful varieties of food we enjoy every single day. Hunger is the No. 1 cause of death in the world. Fifteen million children die yearly, and 21,000 die daily because of this. One-third of the world is starving, while another one-third is underfed. Imagine if we had to search garbage cans for specks of nourishment to feed us.

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SOURCE: Charisma News
Larry Tomczak

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