God’s gift of life comes by following God’s way - Reflections

November 19, 2018 | Didi Bacon

What a privilege it is to live in a country where Thanksgiving is a national holiday! Thanksgiving is our holiday, but it is not our national identity. There is an increase in depression and anxiety amongst folk caused by the discontent that comes from seeing how “friends” are living life via Facebook. “Keeping up with the Jones” has taken a serious uptick because of social media. We are just not into giving thanks in our day-to-day. We are more likely to complain, whine, be discontent, suffer jealousy and envy, and voice our displeasure about life with negative comments. This is not how it is to be with God’s people. Christians are plainly told to be thankful in all circumstances!

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

God’s way to live is to practice giving thanks in good times, in bad times, in times of plenty, in times of want, and in the times when your friend posts pictures of their wonderful vacation with their “perfect” family on Instagram. Being thankful does not change your circumstances. Being thankful changes you. God’s gift of life comes from following God’s way. Just the other day I read about research that identified the practice of thankfulness as life-giving mentally, emotionally, relationally and professionally. People who are grateful are more successful, less sick and are great to work with. This is a truth that has been in the Bible long ago. On Sunday we laid out this challenge for everyone for this Thanksgiving week. Every day, regardless of circumstance, take the time to thank God for three things. Say it out loud. Do it in the morning or do it in the evening. Do it in the car on the way to work. Wherever it works for you, thank God for three things, out loud. It can be for big things like “thank you for dying on the cross and raising from the dead so that I can have life.” It can be small things like “thank you for those orange chocolate cookies I got from Kroger they are delicious!” I pray you took up the challenge. I did. Here are three things I am thankful for:

  1. I am thankful for my little dog Zeke. He brings fun and energy into my house, that has gone quiet with my children grown and mostly out of the home.
  2. I am thankful for my family. My wife and children are evidence that God treats me better than I deserve!
  3. I am thankful for Jesus. He has given me life. I do not know how I could live without Him. He is the resurrected one, who made it possible for me to be right with God. Because of Him, I am God’s kid called to do my part in God’s family business!

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)