Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of my favorite holidays because it gives me an opportunity to pause, take a break from the routine of my busy life, and simply practice gratitude. Did you notice I said practice? You see, though it’s great to have feelings of thankfulness, they bear fruit when we express them. This is especially true in our relationship with God. When we raise our hands and hearts in praise and worship to Him, something amazing happens. As we give Him our troubles, pain, and despair, He lifts the heaviness off our shoulders, takes it upon Himself, and sets us free to run. He replaces our burdensome load with a generous measure of mercy, compassion, glory, and most importantly, His amazing love. In fact, consistently giving gratitude to Jesus stirs within us a greater measure of love for others. The more we thank Him, the more we will naturally thank and bless those around us.
Friend, I encourage you to use this day of thanksgiving to commission a new habit in your life: practicing gratitude. If you don’t already, purpose every day to set aside a time to lift your heart and hands in unfettered praise to Jesus. Intentionally give Him the things that weigh you down and receive His crown of joy in place of your sorrows. Then, take the glory of His presence to others by regularly blessing them with the gift of gratitude. Never overlook an opportunity to say “thank you,” whether to your spouse, children, or to a stranger, and be quick to offer a sincere affirmation or heartfelt compliment. As you gather with friends and family today, seize the chance to bless them in the same way your Savior blesses you!