"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy." (Psalms 107:21-22, NIV)
Today is the one day of the year set aside for being thankful – for the brave Native Americans and Pilgrims who came together and enjoyed a fall feast, and for all that God has provided for us. It’s our festival of remembrance, an opportunity to stop for a moment and just be thankful.
Did you know our thanksgivings can be a sacrificial offering to the Lord as it says in Psalm 107:22? Sometimes, when the chaos of life swirls around us, it can be difficult to look up and be thankful. Yet, that’s exactly what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to do: give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. At times this sacrifice of thanksgiving, of remembering what God has done in the past and trusting him for the future, can be a struggle.
I love the honesty and wisdom in Psalm 77, where the Psalmist pours out his aching heart to the Lord.
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
Have you felt like that before? Or maybe you feel like that now, overwhelmed with life, family, the holidays? The Psalmist is in anguish questioning the almighty God. And then he transforms his thinking by intentionally remembering who God is, purposefully moving his focus from his heartache to that of remembrance and thanksgiving.
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, remembering what God has done in the past and thanking him – and trusting him – for what he’ll do in the future.
Cyndie Claypool de Neve
Senior Creative Director