November 2018 Ministry Column
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. -Psalm 107:1
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. –Psalm 100:4
Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday. It is the one holiday where the focus is on fellowship with our families and friends, where we are mindful of the many ways God has blessed us and a time to thank Him for all that we have.
Yes, Black Friday store hours are now encroaching on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, there’s always football to watch. Yes, we have Christmas decorations appearing as early as August. But, ultimately, Thanksgiving Day is still the time where we look forward to gathering with those closest to us to share a meal and give thanks.
I’ve been reading some blogs lately that talk about the difference in gratitude and thankfulness, though we often use them interchangeably. Gratitude is a feeling and thanksgiving requires an action. If someone does something for me, I can feel grateful, but my action is thanking that person. We can feel gratitude without thanksgiving. We cannot feel thankful without feeling grateful.
God calls us to be thankful in mind and heart. True gratitude expresses “thank you” not solely from our mouths but also from our hearts. First, we should thank God daily for his providence and goodness even in the midst of difficulties we may be facing. Because God loves us, he calls on us to love others. We must remember to be grateful for those in our lives, and thank them genuinely for the blessings they are to us.
Lord, thank You for Your many blessings in our lives. Fill our hearts with gratitude. Lead our hearts to thanksgiving. Inspire our thanksgiving to offer acts of service to others this day. Amen.