Remembering To Be Thankful

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and quite frankly, I could not be more excited. We are just beginning to dive into the depths of autumn - sweaters, colorful leaves, boots, scarves. *SIGH* The whole shebang - fall is Earth’s last, loveliest smile. And in the midst of all the tiny enjoyments we get along the way, Thanksgiving is eagerly anticipated. 

    

    Thanksgiving is the beautiful holiday and occasion that allows us all to put a hold on the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and give thanks to those who are deserving of it the most in our lives. (Oh! And to get fat. But that is a conversation for another time.)    

    

    But I got to thinking just the other day: is thankfulness something we actually practice each day? Or do we just practice it on the last Thursday of November because it is simply a holiday? I have questioned how often we actually stop and thank the God for all He has given us. So how often do you stop and thank God?

 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

 

    How many times a day do you go to the Lord, whether it is on your way to work or before you go to bed, and thank him for simply giving you life? And other things for that matter? Here are a list of things that we all should be a bit more thankful for:

 

~ LIFE

Sometimes we forget how fragile and quick life truly is. Our lives are completely in the hands of the One who created us - God; therefore, only HE has the power and right to take away. He appoints and measures just how much time we spend here on Earth. If you wake upbreathing, consider yourself grateful. 

 

Read Eccelsiastes 5:18.

 

~FELLOWSHIP

Go to church? Have Christian friends or family? Again, consider yourself blessed. So many struggle with living with and around unsaved family and friends; this can eventually lead to other factors that can cause damage to a person’s faith such as withdrawal from church, isolation from people, and more. Many also don’t have the access to simply attend church service. I, personally, have always struggled with lack of fellowship. I have about two to three tight knit people in which I fellowship with daily, but other than that, I struggle. Fellowship is an extraordinary gift that Jesus can bless us with whenever He chooses; if He has given you that direct access, hold fast to it. It is is not as easy to receive as many would think. (Read 1 John 1 on the goodness of fellowship).

 

Read 1 John 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, + Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

 

~ FREEDOM

Boy - as much as we can complain and whine about politics, society, the government, and more, we are immensely blessed to be able to live in a country where we can freely express our faith. While I do believe that Christian rights are going downtime tubes ounce by ounce, I believe it is there. We can freely express our beliefs on social media, attend church regularly, and read our Bible openly - without shame. But think about the people half way across the world who get exiled for proclaiming Jesus as their Savior..? Sometimes we take for granted the simplicity of freedom. Next time, when you open up your Bible at a local Panera or cafe, savor that moment - not many can experience that.

 

Read Galatians 5:1 + 13, + 1 Peter 2:26.

 

~ STRUGGLES

I bet you’re thinking this: “Haley, are you serious? Thankful for problems? Ha! Funny..” I know, I know - it’s weird to say the least. But think about this: the majority to all of your life lessons have originated from your life struggles and problems. How would you grow if you didn’t have an obstacle? Think about it this way: in order for plants and vegetation to grow, they need rain. If there was no rain, how would they grow and keep lively? Same goes for human beings. If we didn’t have life struggles, how would we learn the lessons? Praise God in the midst of your storm! 

 

I was reading Psalm 142 yesterday, and verse 7 says this: “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise Your Name!”  We are to praise and thank His name even when we feel imprisoned by our problems.

 

~ THE CROSS

If we should be proud and boast in anything, it is undoubtedly Jesus and the cross He died on for us two thousand years ago. Think about what Jesus did for you and imagine what life would be like if that never happened. Obviously, there is no “if,” because it did happen. But just imagine. Without Him, we would be slaves to the Law. Broken. Shattered. Looking to others for help and need…and failing. But in the depths of our very imperfection and sin, the Creator of the Universe decided to come down to earth in the flesh and put our justifiable pain from personal sin and place that on Himself. I do not know a more beautiful love story than that. I truly don’t. Thank God for choosing you to be His bridegroom in the most beautiful love story ever written.

 

Read John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Romans 5:8, + Galatians 2:20.

 

Ladies, please do your best to simply thank God every day! Write sticky notes on your mirror, set an alarm on your phone - do something that will remind you to send the Lord a quick thank you. The love and warmth He feels from His Child’s thanksgiving is overwhelming.

 

With Love,

Haley Phelps  

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

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