Living Thanksgiving

Orange leaves with Happy Thanksgiving

Dallas, TX - Thanksgiving opens the holiday season, which can be hectic and stressful. Family, plans, and personalities clash more frequently, and feeling thankful can be hard. Thankfulness can be especially hard if a loved one is missing from the festivities. Through all the holidays, how can one remember to give thanks to God?

As Paul says in his letter to the Colossians,

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

Colossians 3:15-17 calls us to peace and to praise God with gratitude in our words, our deeds, and our lives, but this is often easier said than done. However, there are a few things that help one find peace and thanksgiving with Christ; foremost is an understanding of who He is.

God is good. God is the source of all good things. God works all things for our good. Paul encourages us to think on the message of Christ and sing songs together that remind us of God’s goodness.

God’s character is the very reason anyone has anything for which to be thankful. How many breaths have you taken today? God has provided every single one. What colors can you see around you? God thought of them before we existed and planned how we could see these colors and use them to make beautiful things. Because God created us in the image of Him, we can also create. Because God loves, we can love. Because of what He has given us, we can give thanks.

What can you do to remember God’s provisions in your life throughout today? We must surround ourselves with people that remind us of God’s character so we can live with the peace of Christ in our hearts. Though we may be broken, and though we may be defeated, He loves us and walks alongside us. We can have hope and peace in our circumstances because of who He is and what He has planned for us.

Charles Spurgeon talks about how thanksgiving is good, but Christians are called to something even higher:

I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will.

God’s love and beauty can be known to us through Christ, and through Christ we can see His greatness and praise His glorious name. Though the holidays can be a barrage of stress, we also know because He is good, the holiday season can be good if we remember His nature and if we delight ourselves in the Lord.

In preparation for the Thanksgiving season:

  1. Remember who God is, what Christ has done for us, the vastness of His love for us
  2. Gather together and remind each other of His character
  3. Give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus to God the Father, praising Him with our words and deeds
  4. Even further, live your thanks to Him. Let the message of Christ dwell amongst you

Never forget He is good, and from Him all good things flow. He is the reason we can be thankful.

Written by Isaac Miller

Isaac Miller serves as a student worker in the University Communications division at DBU.