Holiday travel has started. Families are climbing into cars and boarding planes to travel across the country to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.
And yes, the cooking has begun too. The turkeys are defrosting in the frig as side-dishes and desserts are being prepared and popped into the freezer.
If you’re like me, there will be a last-minute trip or two to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients or odds and ends.
I want Thanksgiving to be more than food, football, and a few thankful phrases sprinkled throughout the day. I want my THANKSGIVING to overflow into December and beyond as I praise God for His immeasurable blessings.
What do you think?
How can you and I make our thankfulness bigger than words and last longer than a moment?
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:20
Always is hard and if you’re like me, “all circumstances” sometimes feels impossible.
But what if true thanksgiving is more than words and feelings?
What if thanksgiving is a way to live not just a way to feel?
After a little digging, I found…
7 Ways to Be Thankful – Always and No Matter What
1. Obey God
When you and I take the law out of obedience and think of it as a loving response to all God has done for us … obedience becomes a beautiful way to express our gratitude.
Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. Colossians 3:17
2. Worship God
Worship is so much more than going to church.
Taking our everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1 (MSG)
You and I were created to worship – to thank and praise God, the One who loves us and gives us all we need today and forever.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28
3. Pray to God
Lately, I’ve been starting my prayers “in Jesus name.” It helps me remember that it is only through Jesus that I am able to enter into the Father’s throne room of grace. Then I name specific things for which I’m thankful. Sometimes those two things alone get me past worry and fear, making it easier for me to surrender my current needs to His love and care.
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. Philippians 4:6
4. Love and Care for Others
It is just good stewardship when you and I use God’s gifts to bless others. His love never fails and it will never come to an end. His care is unique and personal. He gives us all we need to love and care for the people around us and doing so is an act of thanksgiving.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:1–2
5. Surrender Completely to God
I’ll admit, I haven’t always found it easy to trust God with everything. I wanted to surrender everything to God but fear and worry always seemed to shout down my good intentions. I’ve learned surrender requires an eternal perspective. Knowing that God’s love is greater than my current circumstances and trusting His perfect love to work for my good and His glory. That’s faith-saturated thankfulness.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Romans 12:1
6. Share Your Faith Story
You’re a changed life, tell people about it. Tell them about forgiveness and freedom from fear . . . about love, hope, and joy. Thank and praise God by telling others about His awesome blessings.
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. Psalm 9:1
7. Live with Joy
Joy isn’t necessarily happiness. Joy is
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:4,6
Finally – Make Everything You Do and Say an Offering of Thankfulness
God’s love is immeasurable. His goodness and mercy cover us. Live with eyes open and heart aware of all He is doing around you. Count your blessings. Live with gratitude.
What a difference it could make in our lives if you and I started each day offering a surrendered life to God as a thankful response to His love, grace, and mercy.
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:11–14
It’s easy to think about all I’m thankful for this week of Thanksgiving, harder to continue to remember to keep that same thankful attitude a few days later, and hardest of all to have an ongoing gratitude action plan.
How I wish I didn’t get so caught up in myself. Maybe you wish that too.
I want my life to show clear evidence of who God is, all He does, and my overwhelming gratitude for making me His child.
David said it perfectly…
I trust God’s love forever and ever. God, I will thank You forever for what You have done. With those who worship you, I will trust You because You are good. Psalm 52:8–9
With God’s help, I believe I can live with thanksgiving always and no matter what!
Will you pray with me?
Father, I come to You in Jesus name. Thank you for Your immeasurable love and abundant blessings. Because of Jesus, Your grace and mercy cover me. Your love surrounds me. Make my life be an offering of thanks for who You are and all You do. I love you, Lord. I trust You. Help me obey and follow wherever You lead. Amen.
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