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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

11/27/2019
Hannah Harrison
Writer for Engage

Thanksgiving is here and it brings me conviction. Today, as I looked at the “I’m thankful” posts from friends and family, I realized how I forget to thank God for the daily blessings I receive. The Bible teaches us to be thankful for everything, but when I look at my life and the times I stop and praise Him, I’m disappointed in myself.

"Adulting" has led me to understand things like unwanted weight gain, frantic work deadlines, balancing relationships, payment schedules, and the stress that comes with it all. But as I’ve taken time to stop and consider thankfulness, I’ve also learned that I don’t have to rely on myself.

What is the purpose of Thanksgiving? Scripture has a surplus of verses concerning how we as believers are to show thankfulness and it doesn’t state that it’s supposed to be just one day or week in November. When grace and thankfulness are observed daily, we are letting the Lord shine through our circumstances.

That’s something to be thankful for.

Attitude 

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:15-16).

For a long time, I didn’t understand the connection between attitude and thanksgiving. I never considered that my sometimes bad attitude not only reflects my relationship with others, but it also displays a lack of awareness of my blessings. It’s easy to have bad days. But by turning our minds to our blessings (instead of our inconveniences), we have the power to magnify the Lord.

If we choose to bring our troubles to the table instead of our blessings, we disregard the One who presented us the freedom and ability to complete His tasks. When we exhibit attitudes of grace and reliance on the Lord, we are lights for Christ.

After all, our goal is to kneel at the feet of the One who has given us every good and perfect blessing.

Provision 

"Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things" (Psalm 107:8-9).

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed enough weight gain to keep me out of my favorite pair of jeans. While this may lead to a reason for un-thankfulness, it shows that I haven't gone hungry. 

Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to food and thankfulness. But if we overlook the provision of our daily needs, we are disregarding the true faithfulness of our Lord. 

Typical Thanksgiving Day activities led to our bellies being full of turkey. But what about the lunch we've eaten almost every day of our lives or the easy access to clean drinking water? Our thankfulness should be attributed to the One who provides everything we need daily, not just one meal or day.

Anxiety       

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). 

Anxiety is prevalent in our society today. But what do we expect when we spend all of our time focusing on worldly situations? My Granddaddy used to tell me, “You can’t change anything from worrying about it, so why are you?” 

Anxiety reveals an underlying issue that we aren’t truly trusting the Lord to do what He says He’ll do. If we take the focus off us and set our gaze on the One who made the universe, we’ll realize how faithful he is and how blessed we are to be serving the one who gave us another Thanksgiving Day to celebrate. 

This year, let’s not focus on just giving Him a single day of praise. Instead, let’s make life changes to reflect just how important He is to us in our daily lives. 

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalms 9:1). 

 

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