A common Thanksgiving tradition I grew up with is for family members and friends to take turns around the table with each person sharing one thing for which they are grateful for the past year. Regularly mentioned were blessings such as good health, a warm home and the loved ones gathered around them. These are certainly things that warrant gratitude and appreciation toward God. As the Bible tells us in James 1:17, "every good and perfect gift is from above."
The Bible also tells us "give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever" in 1 Chronicles 16:34. This verse reminds us to have gratitude toward our Heavenly Father simply because of who He is. Our appreciation should not be contingent upon the blessings we've received -- or not received.
So, if today the turkey is dry or your team loses the big game, give thanks. If you're missing a loved one this year, give thanks. If you're facing unemployment, give thanks. If your investments have turned out poorly, give thanks. If the year ahead is filled with uncertainty in your circumstances, give thanks. Our Heavenly Father knows your needs, hears your prayers and loves you deeply. [more]