thanksgiving: not just to be celebrated once a year.

Posted by Tori on Nov 17, 2012 in a good word., thankful heart.

In 1912, J.R. Miller wrote this about giving thanks:

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart, transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality.

We must persist in being thankful. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.

Every day of our years should be a thanksgiving day.

He who has learned the Thanksgiving lesson well has found the secret of a beautiful life.”

Easier said than done, right? It is all the work of His Spirit in us, not something we have to muster on our own. In the flesh, none of us would choose it.

I just finished up a Bible study series on the book of Job with some incredible women. (You can actually listen to all of the sessions here. You will be blessed, I promise.) I have studied the book of Job in depth before, but the Lord taught me so much more this time around. I love that about His Word. It is alive – always fresh, powerful, and relevant. Job’s account is hard. It teaches deep truth & nuances about the character of our God that we would not understand to the extent we do apart from suffering, and it also teaches us that the mysteries of God are an important aspect of our theology.

Job had more adversity than any of us will probably ever experience in our lifetime. Yet, after receiving all the reports of the devastation of all he owned and the death of his 10 precious children – in the same day – his response was this: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.’ Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (Job 1:20-22, NASB, emphasis mine).

It was after Job suffered all of that terrible loss that his body was plagued with sores from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. His wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9, NASB) But Job told her, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” The verse ends, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10, NASB).

The Lord promises that whatever suffering, difficulties, or hardships we face, to satisfy our soul with Himself. We have His Word on it. So even in the midst of tragedy, we can have thankful hearts. Perhaps not thankful for the tragedy, but for who our God is in it. Thanksgiving is a bold exercise of our faith when we face storms.

So, whether you are in a season of blessing or a season of struggle this time of year, I encourage you to be bold and thorough in your thanks to Him. Not just on November 22, but each and every day He gifts you with breath. He is so, so worthy. And our time here is so, so short.

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