Weekly Devotional: The Thanksgiving Challenge

Pumpkins and sunflowers on a table

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)

So, you have recovered (or are maybe still recovering) from the Thanksgiving food coma, Grandma’s interrogation about your relationship status, and the overall holiday chaos.

Hopefully, your Thanksgiving day was full of love, laughter and time well spent with family and friends! It’s so wonderful to have one day out of the year designated to celebrating and recognizing just how many blessings we have and are given; but, shouldn’t we allow our thanksgiving to extend past the fourth Thursday of November each year?

Ideally, yes, but we all have other commitments and responsibilities that keep us from sharing a meal with distant relatives every day. There are a few other ways to exhibit our thankfulness in everyday life and ingrain a more appreciative perspective in our lives. Some ideas might include asking the Lord to transform our minds, truly recognizing ingratitude as sin and then reminding ourselves all of what God has done for us.

 Be Transformed

Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God wants to transform you! He knows it’s not easy to be instinctively thankful all the time, but He is willing and eager to provide us with a transformed mind. Remember Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Ask God to help you live your life with more thankfulness in your heart and mind, even on its less glamorous days, and He surely will!

Ingratitude as a Sin

It’s also important for us to understand that ingratitude is, in fact, a sin. When describing the Roman church, Paul said, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts became darkened.” (Romans 1:21). As Billy Graham would say, “An ungrateful heart is a heart that is cold toward God and indifferent to His mercy and love. It is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything” (Graham, 2013). We must acknowledge the fact that not only do we have the power to ask for a thankfulness to be instilled within us, but it is also a sin if we decide to live our lives without doing so.

Jesus Died for You

Lastly, another great way to choose to live life with a happier and more grateful heart would be to simply remind yourself of all that the Lord has done for us. He sent His son to die on a cross for your sins so that you may be redeemed and reunited with Him. He wants you, desires you and is pursuing you now, as you are reading this! Lean into His love and accept the grace and love He has for you and your life.

So here’s the Thanksgiving Challenge: this year, don’t just approach Thanksgiving Day with an eager, joyful and thankful heart, but approach the next day with the same heart, as well as the day after that and the day after that.

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Graham, B. (2013). “How to Be Thankful in All Things.” Billy Graham: Evangelistic Association. Retrieved from billygraham.org/story/how-to-be-thankful-in-all-things/

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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