It’s that time of year once again. The holidays.
Is it a time you rejoice or a time you dread?
You might be heading into this season unsure and anxious.
Perhaps your family is struggling to pay bills already, and this is an expensive time of the year.
Maybe you have circumstances in your life that cause you to feel anxious.
We know in God’s Word that we’re called in Ephesians 4:6 “to be anxious for nothing.”
But notice that tucked into this command is the call to have a thankful heart.
The verse continues, “But with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
So, if you’re heading into this holiday season with anxiety, stop, and ask God to relieve the pressure.
Turn from your tendency to give into your fears, and ask God for His peace and strength.
If you approach God with a thankful heart, you’ll discover the fruit of being grateful.
This attitude results in the “peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Thankfulness helps you to have the proper perspective in your life.
It’s a point of view that rises above your own circumstances.
It also takes a certain measure of spiritual maturity to take your eyes off yourself and recognize the blessings God has given you.
If you know Jesus personally then you know His love.
You know His plan for you is good and that you can put your trust in Him.
You’ll know you’re truly devoted to the Lord if you:
- Read His Word every day
- Pray to Him without ceasing
- Have a heart to serve others
- Know there is hope beyond your current struggles
But if you lack in any of these areas, it’s understandable how you can become discouraged and ungrateful in your walk with the Lord.
That’s because when your fellowship with God breaks down, so does your ability to understand life from His perspective.
It’s His divine plan that we need to tap continually into, not our plans.
How Can Your Past Help You Be Thankful Now?
The Holiday Season is also the time when you can reflect on all that’s taken place in your life so far.
A question you may ask yourself is:
“Am I walking in victory or defeat?”
It’s easier to be thankful when you’re walking in victory.
But when you walk in defeat, you turn inward, and gratitude becomes hard.
Jesus was the perfect model of thankfulness.
On the night of the last supper, Jesus broke bread with His disciples and “gave thanks”.
Jesus was thankful to the Father for His provisions even in light of His coming crucifixion!
Oh, that we could be more thankful for God’s provisions in our life.
Being Thankful Is A Condition of the Heart
Being full of thanks takes a healthy, spiritual attitude that says you know that despite your current situation, you’re able to count your blessings.
Here are some things you can be thankful to God for every single day:
- You’re saved, thanks to Christ.
- You have your family of God, thanks to Christ.
- You have your church home, thanks to Christ.
- You have ministry, worship, and great fulfillment, thanks to Christ.
So if you’re discouraged heading into this Thanksgiving, step back from your current troubles.
Look at what God has done in your life and ask Him for to give you a thankful heart.
Ask for His Holy Spirit to fill you with His peace.
It’s a precious peace that surpasses all human understanding because it comes from a holy, loving God who desperately desires a loving relationship with you.
It’s time to rise above your situation and get a perspective that comes from above.
These 4 C’s Will Help You to Rise Above to New Heights
In aviation, flight instructors teach new pilots that when they get into trouble, they need to remember the “4 C’s”:
Pilots joke that they are never actually lost, just momentarily disoriented.
Step #1 – Climb
So if you find yourself off course, the first thing you need to do is climb.
Get a higher perspective on your situation, and seek God’s will for your life.
A zoomed out perspective on your situation is often better than one that’s zoomed in.
Step #2 – Confess
Second, if you’re hindered in your walk with the Lord, then you need to confess your sin.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confessing your sins will get rid of that 100 lbs bag that’s sitting on your chest so you can feel light and airy.
Step #3 – Communicate
You need to communicate.
You have a need to talk to God. Prayer is the means God has given you to commune with Him, understand His will, and find comfort in times of trouble.
God says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Step #4 – Comply
Lastly, you need to comply.
1 Samuel 15:22 teaches “…to obey is better than sacrifice.”
You might think of different reasons why you should follow your plans instead of God’s.
But trust me when I tell you that you’re going to regret it if you do. I speak from experience.
Once you’ve sought out God’s will for your life, confessed your sins to Him, and prayed for forgiveness, then you have to be willing to obey.
Then you can walk in all His ways, live a blessed life here on earth, and be truly thankful for His goodness.
Now that is something to be thankful for. Amen?
Have a great Thanksgiving!