Thanksgiving is over – the linens, dishes and leftovers have been replaced with Christmas lights and evergreen. But can we really afford to leave behind the principle of ‘thanksgiving’. Surely thanksgiving is a way of living, every day and in every way.
Aside from observing a tradition, thanksgiving is a way of life. Call it ‘thanks-living’, God does. It is a life lived from the principle of giving thanks, not on one day but every day.
Impossible? No one can be thankful all the time. In your daily life you may struggle to find anything for which you are thankful. But, God’s perspective is not only about the circumstances of life. It is about the love-life He provides for us all. How do we do that? By majoring on the main thing, Christ Jesus.
Try this simple acrostic – SAY, as a simple reminder for Thanks-Living:
1. Seek God, Thirst for Him – Psalm 22:26
Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life. And I’ll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers. Down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. “Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!”
David understood what it was to be despised by those he loved. His brothers thought him worthless. His father-figure King Saul wanted him dead. David had joined the outcasts, the down trodden and knew that He was in good company. Forsaken by man, he was not forgotten by God. More than that, David understood the continual forgiveness of God – for that he was thankful. This is the measure of a heart after God. Giving thanks is ‘forward’ living by praise.
2. Always Thank God Continuously – Psalm 71:6
My God, free me from the grip of Wicked, from the clutch of Bad and Bully. You keep me going when times are tough—my bedrock, God, since my childhood. I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth, the day you took me from the cradle; I’ll never run out of praise. Many gasp in alarm when they see me, but you take me in stride.
David was fleeing for his life. Boogey-men & Bullies had pursued him since he was a boy. Things had not changed since he became King of Judah. How did he keep going? He stood on the bedrock of truth – He was made by a Mighty God; He was formed for the purposes of a Faithful God; and, he was continually being transformed into a man God could call His own.
3. Your mouth is as important as your mind – Psalm 51:15
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time; in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
What are you ‘mouthing off about? Is your mouth an instrument of destruction and despair? Scripture says that our mouths are a mirror to the heart. David understood that every sinful deed and harmful word was an offense to God. In this verse David captures a universal truth – we are all wounded by sin. What does it take to be healthy? To be washed by the blood of the lamb, Christ Jesus. Victory is not found only in our outward circumstances but in living in the loving Presence of God. Thanksliving is established in our hearts when we worship God for His Character.