Have you ever looked at Normal Rockwell’s painting and thought, “I’ve been put in the wrong family tree?” The holidays are a peak time for battles in our hearts and minds—it’s tempting to think about all we don’t have, and everything that’s unresolved. I have some good news: We don’t have to live with that discouragement.
Giving thanks to God breaks the stranglehold of despair, discouragement, and heaviness more than any single thing I know. It doesn’t begin with your emotions. In fact, when you don’t feel like being thankful is probably when you need to give thanks the most. Thankfulness begins with the decision to give thanks to God, no matter what circumstance you find yourself facing.
Let’s Pray and give thanks:
I want to say thank You. You said I can enter Your gates with Thanksgiving and your courts with praise, and I come to thank You for that today. Thank You for Your wisdom, grace, and mercy. Thank You that You’ve called me out of darkness, and through the blood of Jesus, I have been delivered out of the hand of the devil. Thank You that, in Your great mercy, You have called me, You have chosen me, and You have redeemed me. Thank You that You have opened the windows of Heaven and poured out blessings upon me. Thank You for churches where we can meet, Bibles we can read, and the freedom and liberty to stand in a public place and say “Jesus is Lord!” Thank You, Father, that there’s nothing hidden in darkness that You’re unaware of, and there’s no threat I face that challenges You. Thank You that You’re my physician. You’re my healer. You’re my restorer. Thank You that You’re a God who delivers, You delight in showing mercy, and You have planned a future for me that’s good. I give You glory, honor, praise, and thanksgiving—for You are truly worthy above all names.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Choosing to give thanks is a powerful tool that can help us stand firm in stressful situations, and I have a few more ideas you may find helpful in my recent sermon, “No Troubled Hearts, No Fear.” Watch the sermon on the World Outreach Church YouTube channel.
As we move deeper into the holiday season, remember: Our God is a deliverer, a redeemer, and a restorer. He can make a way. Don’t give in to fear and discouragement. Instead, be willing to give thanks and seek the Lord as you continue to trust in Him.
— Pastor Allen Jackson