Come into My Presence with thanksgiving. Enter My courts with praise. Come early and often. It is there that I refresh you. It is there you are transformed. For I desire to do a work in you and through you to glorify My Name. This will only happen if you come and be wholly Mine. For a divided house will not stand, neither will a divided heart. Lay everything down that occupies your mind. Let Me fill you with My love. Come and be refreshed in My Presence. Psalm 100:4
I’m reading a book that mentions another book by Deborah Norville called “Thank you Power” Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You. In it she tells a story about a man named David, who found himself discouraged. He had moved to Manhattan with high hopes of landing a well-paying job and living in a nice apartment, only to end up with a meager salary as an assistant and living with a friend because he couldn’t afford a place of his own.
One Saturday morning, while out on a job assignment, David decided to start counting things that made him happy. He started by smiling at the sight of a mother walking her baby, then realized seeing a jet make its way across the sky made him happy. He noticed fabulous aromas from cafes he passed and enjoyed bright, colorful displays in store windows. By the time he completed his assignment, he was once again happy-and he was actually thankful he had moved to New York.
More than twenty years later, David is a successful entrepreneur, but he’s never forgotten the day that turned his life around–the day he learned about the power of being thankful.
Get out a piece of paper right now and start listing things you have to be thankful for. Keep the list and add to it frequently. Make it a point to think about the things that you’re grateful for when you’re out and about. You can only learn the “power of thank you” by practicing it.
excerpt from Joyce Meyer’s “Power Thought” book.
My child, seek Me, rejoice in Me, believe Me and trust Me. When you ask, it will be given. When you seek, you will find. When you knock, it will be opened to you. Come into My presence with gladness. Enter into My gates with thanksgiving and praise for I am a good God. My lovingkindness is everlasting and My faithfulness is to all generations.
Matthew 7:7 Psalm 100
My child, let today be a day of rejoicing. Shout joyfully to the rock of your salvation. Come before Me with thanksgiving, for I am God and King above all gods. In My hand are the depths of the earth and the peaks of the mountains are Mine. I made everything and everything is in My hands. Come and worship. Come and hear My voice. Do not let your heart be hardened. Come and I will restore you. I will give you rest.
This special day rolls around just once a year, reminding us to be thankful for everything we have. But just what is it that we should be most thankful for? Some thoughts:
Most often our appreciation centers around the things we enjoy as possessions. We have been taught in our culture that material wealth brings happiness. Oh, we wouldn’t be so crass as openly broadcast this, but what message does Black Friday really send? We also center thankfulness on our relationships with family and friends, which is, of course, much more admirable but still often flirting with self-centeredness.
What about peace? What about security? As I look at Tahrir Square or Syria, I am instantly reminded that much of the world lives with the daily fear of instability and turmoil. We have very few of these problems as a nation, though some do their best to make it so. But why have we been given the blessing of peace and security? Why are we so privileged? It’s because of those who have gone before us, laying solid ground both on which to stand and to build.
We often forget that all we have come to enjoy has been made possible by the sweat and tears of our ancestors. We tend to think that it is our right to enjoy such a privileged lifestyle. Yet we never would have what we do if it were not for their dedication and perseverance. We would be where they once were, needing to build for our own future and the future of our descendants.
And this brings us to what should be a logical conclusion: what are we doing to build not only for ourselves but also for future generations? Are we merely thankful for what we enjoy while ignoring our responsibility to others? Have we come to take entitlements for granted? Are we a part of the solutions to our country’s challenges, or are we a contributor to its problems.
Our thankfulness not only on this day but each and every day needs to be centered in our ability to give, not merely what we have given, rememering that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”