Nurturing an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s that time of year again. Each year when late November starts rolling around, churchgoers everywhere can expect a sermon (or a series of sermons) on the same topic: giving thanks.

I have one coming up this weekend at my church, Highpoint Church.

Not only does Thanksgiving create an opportunity to enjoy large amounts of delicious food with friends and family, but the holiday also serves as a convenient reminder to pause and reflect. Thanksgiving makes a seasonally appropriate time for all of us to think about the ways that God has so generously blessed us.

God is the giver of good gifts

Scripture tells us that every good thing we have received is from God: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

There is not one thing we have in this life—no relationship, no material possession, no ministry opportunity or job – that does not come to us by direct means of God’s goodness.

Jesus himself knew this—just look at the story we read in all four gospel accounts where Jesus feeds a crowd of 5,000 people (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15).

In many ways, Jesus feeding the 5,000 is the perfect Thanksgiving miracle. Some of you right now in this very moment are experiencing the anxiety that comes along with the burden of hosting Thanksgiving dinner in your own home. You’ve got grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and in-laws all depending on you to fill their hungry bellies and satisfy their turkey cravings.

To say that can be stressful is an understatement. Chances are, you don’t have more than 50 people coming to your Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine what it would feel like to have 5,000 people depending on you for a meal!

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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer