Giving Thanks

Psalm 100 (NIV)

1  Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

With so much turmoil going on in the world today, I find comfort in the words of Psalm 100. This passage reveals to us why God is so completely worthy of our praise. God created each person on the face of this earth, and if you confess your belief in God and in Christ, you belong to God and you are counted as one of His people. God intimately knows you, He cares about you and He always wants the best for you. This knowledge about the personal nature of God should cause us to “shout for joy to the Lord” and to “worship the Lord with gladness and “with joyful songs.”

Psalm 139:13: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Matthew 10:30: And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” We should begin each day of the year praising God and cultivating thankful hearts.

As I grow older, I find myself looking back on past Thanksgivings and recalling some of my fondest memories. My favorite remembrances most often revolve around family and the sharing of a meal. Everything seemed to move at a slower pace and being with family was what mattered most during the week of Thanksgiving. I remember long conversations over dinner and I don’t remember anyone being in a hurry to rush off to score the best deals on pre-Black Friday shopping. I mentioned to my wife this week how I longed for those days again when everything seemed much simpler and slower paced.

During this past month, I have tried to be more intentional to begin each day by giving thanks to God for what matters most. I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving family and I thank God every day for each one of them. I am also thankful for a soon to be new addition to our family, as my oldest daughter has found the man that she wants to spend the rest of her life with. I am so very grateful for the blessings of good health for our family. I am grateful to God that we always have food on the table and a roof over our head. I am thankful to God for each new day that He gives me to spend with my family and to be the hands and feet of Christ to those that I encounter each day.

This year I was especially thankful for the slow paced meal and the good conversation that we enjoyed around the table. My aunt, who is 91 years old, told us a funny story that had everyone around the table laughing out loud. As she was asked to tell the story a second time, I looked at my family and was filled with joy to see the smiles on their faces and to hear their laughter. For those few precious moments, I was able to go back in time and remember Thanksgiving meals from the 70’s and 80’s, where no one was in a hurry to go shopping and laughter filled the dining room and warmed our hearts. As I grow older, these are the simpler things that I am so thankful and grateful for.

 

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