Read Lead Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Ponderings here!
How Do You Prepare for Thanksgiving?by Duane Mabee on November 11, 2021
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of Your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your Name, O Most High.
Ps 9:1-2 ESV
Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! How do you prepare for Thanksgiving? I don’t mean how do you prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. How do you prepare your heart to express gratitude?
Scripture is clear that believers should have a continual attitude of Thanksgiving. Celebrating once a year on a special holiday is great, but a heart of thanksgiving should characterize every believer. It is important to both our spiritual and emotional health.
Spiritually it is important because God refuses to have a relationship with people who are not grateful for Who He is and what He has done. Romans 1 tells us that God will have nothing to do with those who will not “honor Him as God or give thanks to Him”. That’s understandable. He has given us everything we have. Even we don’t like to be around people who are ungrateful toward us, and they don’t owe us everything.
God is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving because He created us and gave us life. He forgave and redeemed us. We are still breathing, and our basic needs are met. That alone should fill our hearts with thanksgiving.
Giving thanks to God helps us grow in Christlikeness because it reminds us of how dependent we are on God. It also reminds us of how blessed we are by God. We do not deserve His blessings, but He gives them to us any way. Praise God for His abundant love, mercy and grace.
Gratitude is also important for our emotional health. Did you notice how Psalm 9 ties thanksgiving and our emotions together? I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your Name, O Most High. That’s not coincidental, and it is not the only place where Scripture does that.
A young man recently pointed out that ungrateful people are usually depressed and bitter people because they think they deserve everything. That’s pretty insightful. Do your spiritual and emotional health a favor and develop a heart of gratitude. Then you will be glad and exult in God. You will find yourself singing praise to His Holy Name.