Psalm 9:1+10 (ESV)
1 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken
those who seek you.
Giving thanks, gratitude, or thanksgiving is a great virtue with many blessed aspects and benefits. Many have called it a foundational virtue. It is good and wise that every year we set aside a day to lift-up this practice. I pray that the holiday may create a habit that is cultivated in our lives throughout all the year. I think it is understood that fundamentally our thanks are directed to God on this day, and the Thanksgiving Proclamations are rich with strong statements and directions to this effect. That we should on the day give thanks to our Creator and God. How do we practice gratitude? This can effectively be done by simply recounting, and recollecting the many things and people for which we can be thankful. Some would describe the practice as a ‘counting your blessings.’ This practice may seem overly simple, but it is extremely effective – try it and be blessed. Some other things, that I would suggest, as encouragement to exercise this practice, is that it will be very helpful in relieving anxiety, worry and fear. Anxiety, something that seems to be part of the human condition, can be very debilitating, and counterproductive. However, recounting our blessings from the past, and things we can be relatively sure of in the future, will be a real and significant buoy, lifting us above much stress and worry. Thanksgiving can even be transformational regarding pride (one of the seven deadly sins, and usually listed first). What if as we think of things we have accomplished and may be tempted to become prideful, in those moments, we give thanks to our Creator for the accomplishment? We truly, in praise to God, thank God for the accomplishment. I believe this will help us to lean into the future with a thankfulness that will be truly empowering and liberating. I pray for you every day, and this day I pray that you be blessed with the virtue of gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving!
Psalm 145:16-18 (NKJV) 16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.