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Thankfulness and Joy

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Thankfulness and joy. Two things that go together like cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly … turkey and dressing. Today is Thanksgiving. A time when many people specifically look back over their year and take a moment to think about those things for which they are thankful.

Family.

Friends.

Blessings.

Jobs.

Health.

These are very good things to remember and be thankful for in our lives.

Of course, for some people the purpose of this day is simply to eat turkey and have a day off work. Many people now simply refer to it as “Turkey Day.” Food and football are the important aspects. Ironically, the day after Thanksgiving has become almost a day of greed. “Black Friday” … the official beginning of the commercial Christmas season. Rather aptly named but that’s another blog.

Here is the question … as lovely as it is to have an official day of “thanks”, shouldn’t we practice thankfulness every day? Shouldn’t we daily look at our spouse, children, family … and be thankful for them? Treat them as precious? Especially in this economy, shouldn’t we be thankful for whatever job we may have…even if it’s temporary? Shouldn’t we always be thankful, no matter our circumstances, that we have a God who:

“… loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“… causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

“…is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

“… gives generously to all without finding fault …” James 1:5

“… will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

The wonderful thing about giving thanks…being mindful of what and who is important in life … instills within us joy. True thankfulness and gratitude should always reflect back into our lives with a deep understanding that we are loved and watched over. More than simple happiness, joy fills the heart with peace and spills over into every aspect of our lives.

When we are sad or weary … giving thanks to God for His tremendous love reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus and the promises He fulfills in our lives.

When we are ready to throttle our spouse over a tube of toothpaste or our children are driving us insane…giving thanks to God for them helps us remember what a blessing they are.

Thankfulness is a key ingredient not only to joy, but contentment..

So on this “official” day of thanksgiving, enjoy the time you have to spend with family and friends over a delicious meal. Fellowship together in conversation, watch a football game or pull out a puzzle to put together as a group. Give thanks to God for all of the blessings … large and small … which He’s bestowed on your life.

Then … make sure to do it all again tomorrow.

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