Give Thanks and Rejoice!
There are certainly times and circumstances in our lives, when rejoicing and giving thanks are difficult to do. Have you ever wondered why God says it’s “good” to give thanks? Because giving God thanks readjusts our focus. When we praise and thank the Lord, the hardships, difficulties and demands of daily life don’t feel as heavy. Instead of having our minds distracted by the challenges of this world, God and His goodness becomes the center of our focus. Just as important, we gain awareness of our dependence upon Him and become more appreciative of His continued care and provision in all things. The simple truth is, gratitude helps release our anxieties. We rarely feel grateful when we’re burdened, but that’s the time we need to offer God our most heartfelt gratitude. There’s an amazing physical, emotional, and spiritual change that occurs when we offer God our praise. It is then, that our burdens are lifted, the internal churning stops, and we are able to rejoice in the Lord. Friends, Thanksgiving reinforces our faith! Recalling our blessings and the ways God has expressed His goodness toward us, reminds us of His faithfulness. Recalling how He has worked in our past, gives us strength for today, and hope for tomorrow. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, feeling down or burdened, remember the good that comes from thanking the Lord and lift your voice in gratitude for what he did for us on the cross. Then give thanks and rejoice in the Lord! Happy Thanksgiving,
Below is a beautiful Prayer of Thanksgiving from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments that satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he conquered death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things.