But spring came after the cold harsh winter, and new crops were planted and the pilgrims enjoyed a bountiful harvest. Governor William Bradford called a special feast to give thanks to the Creator. They celebrated for a week, along with 100 Native Americans they invited to join them.
They gave thanks directly to God. And they thanked Him for days, even though they suffered great loss. This is our American heritage.
Why did the Pilgrims give thanks and why is it so important for us to be thankful?
~ A thankful heart builds your TRUST in Abba Father because you bring back to remembrance all that He has done for you.
~A thankful heart plants seeds which harvest sheaves of JOY.
Psalms 100:4, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
Abba has given us so much. He gave us life with intricate minds and problem solving skills. He gave us complex bodies which often mend and heal themselves. He gave us His only Son; the gift of salvation, and the opportunity to live forever with Him in a glorious and majestic place called heaven where there will be no tears, sin, or sadness. When we can’t even be bothered to stop and thank Him for His abundant blessings He showers on us everyday, it is not hard to imagine how He might not want to give us more grace upon grace.
There are some amazing stories the Lord felt compelled to share regarding thankfulness. One is found in Acts 16. Check it out for yourself. As Paul and Silas were on their way to pray they cast a demon out of a young girl. This incited the owners; who made a good profit from the girl’s psychic abilities, to have Paul and Silas beaten black and blue and thrown into maximum security with clamped leg irons fastened to them.
I don’t know about you, but on my own, there is no way I would be thankful under these circumstances. However, Paul and Silas began singing praise songs to God! They were praising God, indicating thankfulness! If they could praise and thank God under those horrific circumstances; which you and I will most likely never face, certainly we can thank God in our circumstances.
Being unthankful is serious and can lead us down foolish and destructive paths.
Romans 1:18-22 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
People who are unthankful are negative and critical and find it easy to complain about little things. They are also bitter and unforgiving.
Did you know if you have bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart you demonstrate an unthankful attitude toward God? In Matthew 18 God shares an account of an ungrateful servant who was forgiven of a great debt, but could not forgive his friend of a much smaller debt. He was called an evil servant because he was shown great mercy but would not extend mercy to another.
How can we become thankful? We are what we think. Our feelings align with what we think and are actions demonstrate what we think. We have to change our thinking. We can’t allow our minds to dwell on negative thoughts, hurts, disappointments and worries.
I began making a list of things I am grateful for many years ago. Sometimes I add answered prayer or things I think God has done for me. A Christian sister recently hurt me so I asked the Lord to show me some good things about her. When the hurts surface to my mind and my mind wants to play it over and over I start thanking God for the good He showed me about her. When I feel moody or down, I meditate on my many thanksgivings. When I begin to worry I say, “Thank you Jesus that you have got this.” Our minds won’t change themselves we have to help them: Philippines 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
What have you been thinking about? It takes time to reprogram our minds. Today is the day. Let us be thankful for all that the Lord has done, is doing, and is going to do in our lives.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”