“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NRSV)
Thanksgiving Day is approaching and, like many holidays, it evokes various thoughts and emotions in each of us. We all understand that gratitude is a core component to living a successful life; especially a life of faith in Christ. Yet, the holidays do not always make us feel warm and fuzzy. In fact, they can be a stressful time. For, with all of the food, fun and laughter, can come sadness, loneliness and dis-ease. Simply put, during the holidays, it can be difficult to give thanks; even though we know that we must.
Well, whether you are looking forward to or somewhat dreading the upcoming season, remember to keep this truth in mind: God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Whatever you need, Jesus has it in abundant supply. Do not be shy about coming to God and sharing the deepest cries of your heart. Be willing to tell your inner most thoughts and desires to the One who truly knows you, loves you, understands and cares.
Moreover, here are some tips to help you maintain your sanity and your joy throughout the holidays and every day:
Be Honest: You do not have to be all things for all people during the holiday season. Be honest with yourself, with Jesus and with others about what you need and how you are feeling. If, for example, you are still in the early stage of grieving the absence of a beloved family member or friend, be honest about your need for space and give yourself time to heal. Honesty can help to minimize misunderstandings and adjust expectations. Speak the truth; do it in love.
Be Helpful: Distraction is not always the best way to cope with life’s challenges, but sometimes it is good to take our minds off of ourselves. Find ways to be helpful and supportive to your family, friends and neighbors during the holidays. Lending a helping hand may be just what you need to refocus your mind on how very much you have for which to be thankful. And, your attitude of gratitude can help set the tone for those around you.
Be Hospitable: Make it a point to set a welcoming environment in your home and office. Look for ways to share time and space with others, especially those who may be without close family and friends, over the holidays. Hospitality is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Pray and ask God to show you how to be more inviting and generous. Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive; and generosity is its own reward. (Acts 20:35)
Be Hopeful: The times and seasons in which we live are uncertain and sometimes unkind. Nevertheless, as believers in Christ, we should carry the message and mandate of hopefulness in our hearts and on our lips. To do this, we must first spend time with the God of all hope – gathering the truths and promises of Christ for ourselves. And second, we must find ways – even through difficulty – to share Christ’s message of hope with others. So, no matter what other gifts you give, be sure to deposit hope wherever you go this holiday season.
Yes, time is filled with swift transition, therefore let us decide that no matter what or who may come and go, we are still gonna say thank You.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)