On a table in my house, a small wooden sign sits that states three words, “Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.” It serves as a daily reminder to set my eyes on thanking God for what He has done for me. Although this may seem cliché, I think it fits perfectly with the theme of what the Thanksgiving holiday entails.
If thanksgiving is how we respond to God’s goodness in our life, gratitude is what we feel in the depths of our hearts. Gratitude is the well by which we can draw authentic expressions of thanksgiving.
Did you know there’s a slight difference between praise and thanksgiving? In Bible verses about praise and thanksgiving, what we see is that thanksgiving is generally about thanking God for what He has done for us. Praise focuses more on praising God for who He is.
For me, I believe that praise and thanksgiving also involve a spirit of contentment. Instead of always looking for my next blessing to arrive, I am learning to sit in what God has already given me. When I am content, I am more willing to bless others with those gifts, the way that God intended. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison, when I look at everyone else’s seemingly “perfect” Pinterest or Instagram feed. To not feel defeated by comparison, I daily must switch my eyes not on what I seem to lack, but rather thank God for what He has already blessed me with.
“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; his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
If you breakdown what the Psalmist of this chapter is saying, there are practical actions we can take:
- Shout for joy.
- Worship the Lord with gladness.
- Come before Him with joyful songs.
- Know that He is God.
- Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
- Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
- Recognize His goodness, love, and faithfulness, through all the generations of your family.
I want to challenge you to spend this week reflecting on things you are grateful to God for but also ways you can bless others using the gifts God has given you. I love this time of year because it reminds me to spend time worshipping the God who deserves all of my praise and thanksgiving.