364 Days of Thanksgiving

thanksgiving meal

1 Chronicles 16:34 — Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Stress. Nerves. Anger. Frustration. Unhappiness. Discontentment. Anxiety. Worry.

Who wants those? And yet there is an epidemic in our society. I hear it all the time. I feel it many times.

Not only are those ugly words toxic to our bodies and minds. They are toxic to our souls. These words become embedded habits in our lifestyle that change our perspective on who God is. We develop the habit of focusing on what we feel we lack and become blind to what we have. We start to question, doubt, and complain about the Lord rather than see who He really is.

Nothing seems to serve as a better example of how backwards our minds and hearts are than as we approach the holidays. Does thinking about Thanksgiving slow you down and bring you gratitude or does this holiday bring on stress, anxiety, and unhappiness?

But we have a God “whose love endures forever”. In Lamentations 3, the prophet Jeremiah, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This is exactly who God is. These words about God are more true than our habitual feelings.

God calls us to a change of habit. What if we looked for God’s mercy every morning? What if we gave effort from our heart and soul to purposefully count a blessing each day? What if I asked God daily to open my eyes of faith to see His hand giving me so much that I have taken for granted?

If this became our habit, do you think it would cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving to God? Do you think it would honor Him and bless you? Might it help your mind, body, and soul find rest and joy and contentment in God and lessen all those ugly, toxic thoughts?

I invite you to join me in a new 3-week Bible study starting at church this Sunday at 9:15am entitled “364 Days of Thanksgiving”. This study, I hope, might be a way for many of us to encourage each other in a lifestyle of thanksgiving. I know I need it.

Peace in Jesus,

Pastor John Gensmer

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