Five Thoughts on Genuine Thanksgiving

by Lee Buford on November 23, 2011

As Thanksgiving Day approaches I wanted to share five thoughts that are weighing heavily on my mind relative to genuine thanksgiving:

  1. Being genuinely thankful for anything requires an intentional state of the heart, not merely a fleeting emotion. It’s often helpful to stop and take inventory of the many blessings we’ve been given, prayerfully seeking the Spirit’s revelation and guidance about areas, things, or people in lives for which we may not immediately think of.
  2. We all have much more to be thankful for than we are capable of realizing or processing at any given time. God’s grace in our lives far exceeds our ability to properly recognize or quantify, and it is in response to this unmerited abundance that we offer our praise to Him.
  3. Being genuinely thankful requires that there be an object of our thankfulness and one to which our thankfulness is directed. God is the giver of all things for which we give thanks, and He ought to be the one to whom we acknowledge our gratitude and praise. Being thankful “for” without being thankful “to” is not genuine thanksgiving.
  4. Thanksgiving Day, and all holidays for that matter, represent a time of much pain and suffering for many. There are battles with sin, family turmoil, past regrets, and many other factors that leave others feeling anything but cheerful or grateful for anything. It’s during these times that we must be an encouragement to those in our midst, a shining light pointing to the love and forgiveness found only in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
  5. Above all, be thankful! Give thanks FOR all of your many blessings and TO the One who is the only rightfully object and recipient of our genuine thanksgiving. God is holy, worthy, good, and more magnificent than any of us are even aware. To Him be the glory!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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