As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many people, in spite of all they have, find it difficult to be thankful. It’s easier to focus on the conflicts, the problems, the things we lack. This causes us to develop a “Why me?” mentality.
There’s an old story about a farmer who sat down with his family at the dinner table to pray. He said, “Lord, we plowed it, we planted it, we watered it and fertilized it, and when harvest came we picked it, cleaned it, and cooked it…but we thank you for it anyway.” Can you see how that farmer’s attitude could keep him from experiencing an attitude of thankfulness?
What would happen if you really believed that life is a gift from God, and that whatever pleasure we get from our relationships, and whatever abundance we enjoy, and whatever good thing we may experience is the result of His goodness? Can you imagine how believing such a thing could influence your life? Do you see how it could revolutionize your life?
In just about every Thanksgiving sermon you’ll ever hear, the preacher will make the point that we shouldn’t be thankful only one day a year, that we should be thankful year round. Imagine if we really believe that life is God’s good gift to us, don’t you think it would be easier to be thankful every day?
Our beliefs don’t just happen. We choose what we will believe. Our environment and our background and our circumstances may play a role in how we formulate our belief system, but the bottom line is that we choose what we believe. You choose what you believe.That’s why there are some people living in poverty on the streets of Calcutta who believe that life is sacred, while there are others living in the prosperity of America who believe that life is meaningless. You can believe life is meaningless, or you can believe life is God’s gift. There is “evidence” for either argument, so you can take your pick.
Believing life is meaningless will result in one set of actions and
reactions — and will usually result in the closing of doors.
Believing life is God’s gift will result in another set of actions and reactions — and will result in the extension of opportunities. It only makes sense that we would choose beliefs that open the doors of possibility for God’s work in our lives.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free
from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)
Imagine if we truly believed these words — the impact it would have on our lives! We could make the transition from struggling with the same old habits to creating lasting change, to truly becoming a different person.
So this Thanksgiving I encourage you to make a conscious choice to believe the promises of the Word of God. God is good. Life is worth living. And I have so much to be thankful for. When we change our beliefs we’ll change our world, and we’ll be able to change ourselves in the process.