A Thankful Heart

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there are reminders everywhere to be thankful. The holidays truly are some of the best times of the entire year. Perhaps that is why so many will say ” I wish it was like the holidays all year round!” Why is it that around thanksgiving everyone seems a little more grateful, a little more generous, and perhaps even a little happier? The reason for these things is that the ‘attitude of gratitude’ is in the forefront of our minds.

As Christians, we are commanded to live our lives in a spirit of thanksgiving all year round. (I Thesalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”)  The Bible certainly talks a lot about having a thankful heart; could that be because God knew that it was something that would not come naturally for His children?

How can a Christian live everyday like it is Thanksgiving?

The answer to this question comes from a passage of Scripture written by someone who, in man’s eyes, had a difficult Christian life. The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Philippi and says “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11) Paul went through so many hardships while serving God. There were times when Paul had nothing to his name, even his health had gone, and yet he could be thankful. What secret did Paul have that can help us to be thankful in our lives? The secret is in the next two verses following Philippians 4:11. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:12,13

Paul knew something that we as Christians so often times forget. Paul understood that through Christ we can do all things! It is through Christ that Paul can say that he has learned to be content. Paul could live with a spirit of thanksgiving through the power of Christ, and so can you! God did not save you to live a defeated life, Christ came so that we could have life, and that we could have it more abundantly!

So, for this holiday season, practice contentment. And through the power of God you can continue the spirit of thanksgiving all year round!