Giving & Receiving Thanks

As we enter into the holiday season we have to remember, this is a time of giving thanks for all that has been provided to us. We give thanks for family, friends and all the little things others may not remember but we, as Christians, do.

I think you have to admit, there are a lot of things we should be thankful for and, sometimes, we don’t even recognize those things or we completely forget that they ever took place.

The first thing we need to remember, at all times is…

1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Thanksgiving (Wikipedia)

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and also to a well recorded 1619 event in Virginia. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England.

The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group’s charter from the London Company, which specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

In all of that I just said, it really all comes down to the last sentence “Thanksgiving to Almighty God!”

We really need to concentrate on that as long as we might live. Everything given to us, good or bad, it is all a gift from God.

Giving Thanks at All Times

All too often, we forget about giving thanks, especially during the bad times. Usually, when we’re celebrating success or good times, we forget about God and all that He has given to us. A very important thing we should always remember…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

  • Give Thanks When We Succeed

How happy we are when we succeed? It makes us feel good, feel like we’re on top of the world and like nothing else really matters at the time. How have we done what we’ve done?

I Corinthians 15:57“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The most important part of success is giving thanks. Our God and our Savior give us these things and it is all too important to remember to give thanks.

  • Give Thanks When We Fail

A difficult thing to do, don’t you agree? I know when I fail at anything I try and do it makes me feel pretty lousy. I not only feel I’ve let myself down but all those around me as well.

Romans 5:4 – We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope.”

We need to begin looking at our failures as lessons from God. It just wasn’t what God had planned for us. He has something far better and we need to understand that and continue on to our next venture.

After all, we can’t win at everything we do as we, despite what we think of ourselves, are only human and we will make mistakes. Our only hope, as well as God’s is that we learn from all these things.

  • Give Thanks in Good Times

Sure, this one is easy. But how often do we forget. As I said earlier, nothing else really seems to matter to us when in the good times. We’re having a ball reveling in our successes and, at the time, forgetting our failures.

At these times, especially so, we should remember where they come from.

James 1:17 – “Every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.”

God gives us these good times and we should be thankful in remembering where they’ve come from and how blessed we truly are.

  • Give Thanks in Bad Times

Again, doesn’t seem like an easy thing to do, right? What is the difference between bad times and failure? That’s easy… failure may be a job interview; project at home or just something we’re trying to accomplish. We fail… whoops! The “bad times” can be described as sickness, loss of a Loved one or just a point where our lives seem to be heading down-hill.

How or why should I give thanks during bad times in my life? After all, I’m not having a good time.

Proverbs 3:5-6)“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Yes, not with our “own understanding.” God will put challenges before us. Our hope, understanding and end-all result should be realizing why we have been given these lessons.

  • Recognize When We’re Given Thanks

This is something we really need to focus on. All too often, when we do good deeds, we look for a sign or expect greater rewards for what we’ve done.

Ephesians 4:2 – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in Love.”

We need to learn to recognize when God is giving us thanks for our good works. Most of the time, the signs are small, without great glory but still they should be recognized, understood and greatly appreciated.

The Story of Jack… click to read

That was a while ago. From what I can remember, about 3 years have passed. I hadn’t seen Jack in a while but thought about him often.

Recently, I had another visitor on the beach. I’d like to share that story with you as well as I recognized it as a great gift of thanks.

Jack’s and Elizabeth’s Thankfulness… click to read

Never forget to be thankful, in good times and in bad. Always remember where your lessons are coming from and always give thanks to God for all that happens. The bad may be a lesson and the good a reward. Learn to recognize each and give thanks in all circumstances.

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless!