Mark Affleck

The Pilgrims Have NOTHING To Do with MY Pain

November 23, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Living with gratitude is NOT easy. Not even on Thanksgiving Day! Yep…being thankful is difficult, especially when the plot of our life’s movie dives into the dark. With over 1.5 million followers in this ministry’s global online tribe, I KNOW there is much pain and heartache this Thanksgiving in every corner of planet earth. But we are still called by God to be thankful.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
But EXPRESSING thankfulness is not the hard part. The challenge is to know WHY God commands us to show gratitude.
Thanksgiving week is a great time to think about this “REAL REASON” for gratitude. But not as a once-a-year “duty.” It is a call to live the WHY all year and then celebrate 364 days of gratitude on Thanksgiving.
We know that in 1620 the Pilgrims’ celebrated the verdant soil’s bountiful harvest with the indigenous inhabitants on what would later become America’s Northeast shore.
But consider the backdrop. It was frigid COLD! Disease exploded. Food was scarce. People died.
Amid this pall, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for all their circumstances just like the Israelites they had read about in the Bible.
That first Thanksgiving had little to do with comfort and everything to do with thanking God in all circumstances. It was an expression of FAITH and JOY.
Their gratitude was not about good stuff happening. It was grounded in TRUST that God had their back and was guiding them even when the going got tough. Putting every thought and decision through this “GRATITUDE FILTER” transformed their lives and outlook for the future.
God’s wants our GRATITUDE to be a SPONTANEOUS expression of joy.  He wants us to look back with THANKS and look ahead in TRUST. This is one of the foundational support girders of our faith.
I ask God to fill me with overflowing gratitude and thankfulness for his amazing grace EVERY DAY and especially this Thanksgiving week.
Are you putting every thought this week through God’s GRATITUDE FILTER?
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.” Psalm 100:4 

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