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The Act of Thanksgiving

When you think of Thanksgiving, what do you think of? Embarrassingly, food is my first
answer… But wait! I love many things about Thanksgiving other than just the food; I love
the time with family, the fall chill in the air, and the deep breath we take before a wild and
crazy Christmas season that seems to approach out of nowhere. Really, I believe
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to begin to prepare our hearts for the season of Advent.
Although, somewhere in the midst of anticipating the craziness of the Christmas season we
tend to forget The Act of Thanksgiving.

The culture we live in finds it far easier to live out the act of wanting rather than giving. I
myself have a nature that leans this way if I don’t remain diligent and faithful to actively
giving thanks. And sometimes it’s even harder when those around us are giving thanks for
things that are better than the things we have! Theodore Roosevelt once said “comparison
is the thief of joy”.

The older I get the more I recognize that thankfulness cannot  just be a mindset, I cannot be
passively thankful.

As we head into the Advent season and begin a time of anticipating the celebration of the
arrival of Jesus, I’m beginning to really think about what Jesus coming to Earth has done to
change my life. And because of those things it causes me to live out thankfulness. Isaiah
speaks of a thankful and praising response to God in Isaiah 12:4-5.

“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he
has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 5  Sing to the LORD, for he has done
glorious things; let this be known to all the world."


There are two major acts to giving thanks we learn from Isaiah.

First, we must praise the Lord. If we forget who alone deserves the glory, we tend to
find ourselves seeking praise or satisfaction for the things God has done. To live out
Thanksgiving we must pause and praise our Heavenly Father for all He has done for us.
This can be difficult in a time where so many feel a vacancy of loved ones who have
passed, but we remind ourselves through praise that God is a great comfort in times of
need. Praising God is an Act of Thanksgiving.

Second, we must make known what He has done to the nations. Whenever I am
reminded of all God has done and is continuing to do, I almost HAVE TO tell someone. I
work with students, and they love real life stories. So, whenever I can tell them about how
God has worked in my life, I see something stick. I sometimes get to see their faith
increase.

In this season, how are you living out The Act of Thanksgiving? Are you praising God for who He is, and are you telling others about Him? I pray that this season you find hope, joy, love, and peace through our Heavenly Father.

In Him,

Pastor Ben