“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
As a child, my greatest attraction to our Thanksgiving Day in the United States lay in televised Christmas parades, toy catalogs, food, visiting with relatives and a few school days off while looking forward to the Christmas break. It was not until my early-20s, when I began to focus on a relationship with God that I began to appreciate the spiritual significance of this extraordinary holiday. As a child of God, I now thank Him for being our:
Creator (Psalm 95:1-5)
Sustainer (Psalm 118:24)
Healer and Redeemer (Psalm 103:1-4; 107:1-3)
Teacher (Colossians 2:6, 7)
Confidant, Intercessor and Guardian (Philippians 4:4-7)
Testimony (Isaiah 12:4, 5)
Righteous Judge (Hebrews 12:28)
Father and Giver of the Holy Spirit (James 1:17)
Great joy and a sense of perpetual thanksgiving take r
oot when gratitude becomes intentional, and blessings, both received and given, are recorded daily — as Anne Troy and her family happily discovered (p. 11).
Yasmina is grateful for Adventist books written especially for Muslims and the new world the books have opened for her (Jonas, p. 32). Maman Rupid rejoices over the influence of the Holy Spirit, who guides and inspires him to build walls for Kildit’s house (Thomas, p. 29). Mary Murphy is grateful for electricity, water and a refreshing shower (p. 34). And Alsa Lain’s heart is filled with joy in seeing how a coloring book transformed the life of Maati and brought overwhelming gratitude to his mother Zainab (p. 40).
Rejoice . . . always! What “pressed down and running over” blessings will you share with others?