Thanksgiving

By Keiko Chibana Shinn | Rediscovering Prayer

“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.” – Psalm 100:3-5

A still-small voice in my heart tells me: Keep trusting, keep believing, and keep thanking.Jesus gives us so much to be thankful for. As long as we have breath, there is thanksgiving to be given out. A thankful heart maximizes freedom from within us to express genuine love and kindness. With so many external pressures affecting our world today, it’s crucial for us to be intentional about pursuing peace. The celebration of Thanksgiving is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in our lives- every minute of every day, He is with us. We are capable of walking in His peace because His love, unlike any other absorbs our fears to let love come fresh and anew each day.

Engaging in praise and thanksgiving to our Father opens our hearts to receive healing by way of surrendering our control of life to the Maker of it. Thanksgiving is a powerful thing because the quality of our lives can change in an instant by how we handle our attitude. We have a choice to either cultivate a lifestyle of thanksgiving or to build a life on grief and worry. Unfortunately, too many times I find myself grumbling about what is wrong about life instead of receiving each day with a childlike faith to believe for the best. God invites us to make Him the builder of our days, our homes, and families. Let us keep our eyes and hearts on Him. Faith is something that comes through His hands not ours. So, let us enjoy what His hands have made and thank Him in advance for what He has done with all our hearts.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7

The greatest gift He gives is an authentic and responsive relationship with Him every day. His love for us is our peace. He knows the end from the beginning. His purposes will stand forever even in our missteps, He is faithful to uphold us.

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Co. 15:57

The light of unfailing hope is ignited in us for those around us. Let us not neglect the gift God bestows on each of us as His beloved children. A lifestyle of thanksgiving expands our hearts toward generosity, to welcome strangers, care for the brokenhearted, give second chances, and makes us more apt to make love known to a hurting world around us. Thanksgiving transforms our ability to forgive and it dissolves unnecessary pride so that the humility of Christ may take shape in our hearts. Let our hearts overflow with thanksgiving to the One who blesses us with an eternal love each and every day.

When we declare Jesus as good and who only does what is good, we are enriched with His supernatural strength and enter into a rest that only He can provide. His joy and peace makes unfailing hope possible. Therefore, let us trust and enter His gates with thanksgiving. Those gates represent His presence, an indestructible relationship with Him. He is with you to the very end. May we be overflowing with gratitude for the life He sustains within us. Keep trusting, keep believing, and keep on thanking.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the love you bring into my life through my family and all your beloved. May you bless all of your creation to see you loving-kindness. May my home be built by my Maker, where faith is expressed through thanksgiving. Grow my humility and trust in You. May thanksgiving overflow because the eyes of my heart are set on your loving-kindness. Amen.

Additional Verses: Ps. 146:2; Ps. 107:1; Ps. 34:14; 1 Jn. 4:18; Matt. 18:3; He. 3:4; Is. 46:10; He. 4:3; Ro. 15:13; Matt. 28:20