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Gratitude in Affliction - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 22

By Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries

Psalms 119:65-72

At Thanksgiving, we typically express gratitude for God's blessings. But did you ever consider thanking Him for something that doesn't seem like a blessing—such as a trying circumstance you want Him to remove or change? A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don't warrant giving thanks. By making four foundational decisions, we can begin to see the value of our adversities and respond with appreciation.

Believe and trust the Lord. Only by viewing life from a scriptural perspective can we understand His purposes in our trials and trust His wisdom in allowing them.

Accept the situation as coming from God—either directly sent or permissively allowed. If we truly believe He's working for our good (Rom 8:28-29), we can choose to receive each difficulty as coming from His loving hand. Then we can say "Thank You."

Submit to God in the circumstance. Although we may not like the situation, knowing that God "[is] good and does good" (v. 68) allows us to confidently place our lives under His authority.

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11/21/18 3:27 A

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Remember to Give Thanks - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 21

By Greg Laurie

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15–16 NKJV)

The Bible tells the story of ten men who had a lot to give thanks for. They were miraculously touched by Jesus. Prior to this touch, they were complete outcasts, the very scourge of society. These men had leprosy, and you couldn’t get any lower in that particular time in history with this incurable disease.

If a man was found to have leprosy, he could have no contact with others. He had to leave his house and his friends and live apart from them. So here were these men living an isolated, miserable, lonely life. But they heard about Jesus. They heard how He had touched others and healed them.

So they called out to the Lord and asked for His healing touch. Now these men were standing before Jesus in various stages of decay. Their clothing would have been ripped from perpetual mourning. Their skeletal heads would have been uncovered. They would have been required, according to the Law of Moses, to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” wherever they went.

But Jesus did not respond to them with special effects or even a dramatic touch. He simply said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14 NKJV). So that is what they did. And guess what? They were healed.

Yet only one decided to go back and give thanks. The Bible tells us he was a Samaritan, which may not mean a lot to us. But normally, Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with each other. The Jews looked down on the Samaritans. Yet it wasn’t one of the sons of Abraham that came to give thanks; it was a Samaritan. And he was commended for this.

We are so quick to ask for God’s help, but let’s remember to be just as quick in giving Him praise when He comes through.

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2 Fathers, 2 Feasts - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 20

by Max Lucado

The following is an excerpt from In the Eye of the Storm.

I drove the family to Grandma's last night for Thanksgiving. Three hours into the six-hour trip, I realized that I was in a theology lab.

A day with a car full of kids will teach you a lot about God. Transporting a family from one city to another is closely akin to God transporting us from our home to his.

A journey is a journey, whether the destination be the Thanksgiving table or the heavenly one. The fact that my pilgrims were all under the age of seven only enriched my learning experience.

As minutes rolled into hours and our car rolled through the hills, I began to realize that what I was saying to my kids had a familiar ring. I had heard it before — from God. All of a sudden, the car became a classroom. I realized that I was doing for a few hours what God has done for centuries: encouraging travelers who'd rather rest than ride.

I shared the idea with Denalyn. We began to discover similarities between the two journeys. Here are a few we noted:

1. In order to reach the destination, we have to say no to some requests.
2. Children have no concept of minutes or miles.
3. Children can't envision the reward.
4. It's worth it.

As we sat around the table today, no one spoke of the long trip to get here. Yesterday's challenges were lost in today's joy.

That's what Paul meant. God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.

Remember this: God may not do what you want, but he will do what is right… and best. He's the Father of forward motion. Trust him. He will get you home. And the trials of the trip will be lost in the joys of the feast.

From In the Eye of the Storm


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11/19/18 4:49 A

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Gratitude Changes Everything - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 19

by Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

“Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and so I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. What is it? When should we show it? What does God say about it?

Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Most read that verse and think it rather nice. So we slap a sloppy coat of thanksgiving on life and go about our day. In reality, most of us are thankful for very little.

Notice the Bible doesn’t command us to feel thankful in all circumstances. Instead it commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” When I begin to praise God in a difficult situation, even if I don’t feel like it, many times the scales fall from my eyes and I begin to see glimpses of His glory sprinkled on the black backdrop of the situation like diamonds on black velvet.

Sometimes I don’t see glory in tragedy, but I still can praise God because I know He is there.

Gratitude changes the lens through which we see the circumstances in our little slice of time. Thanksgiving changes our perspective despite broken dreams, broken relationships, tumultuous circumstances, and unfulfilled longings.

As you praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He’s done, your perspective of Him grows larger and your problems grow smaller. As a result, you will experience a deeper sense of intimacy with God as the emotional gap between what you know to be true and how you feel at the moment closes.

On many occasions in the Psalms, David complained about his circumstances (Psalms 42; 57; 62). But more often than not, about midway through David’s laments, he begins praising God for who He is and thanking God for what He’s done. And you know what happens? All of a sudden David starts feeling better! Life isn’t so bad after all! His problems grow smaller as his perspective of God grows larger, and he begins to see God’s glory shining through the situation.

Why is that? In the writing of one little Psalm, David shifted from depression to rejoicing. He didn’t wait until God changed his situation, solved his problem, or made him feel better before he began thanking Him.

Oh friend, when we stop complaining and grumbling and begin speaking God’s love language of gratitude, our perspective will change as well. We will begin seeing moments of sudden glory through the lens of praise and thanksgiving—glory moments that were there all along, but hidden from the grumbling eye.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I praise Your Name. I exalt Your Name forever. Even though I may not understand what is going on in my life, I trust that You are good and Your plans are good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, read Psalms 145,146, and 147. Take note of what the psalmist praised God for.

Make a list of 10 things you are thankful for and share them

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Gratitude Changes Everything - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 19

New devotional being posted above for November 19



Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 11/19/2018 (04:52)
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11/17/18 6:27 A

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Reset Your Gratitude Meter - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 17

by Daniel Darling

1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for? We gather, every year at this time, to reflect on the blessings of God over the past year. But in most families, Thanksgiving is less about real gratitude and more about stuffing your face, watching football, and hanging with the family. Some actually dread Thanksgiving, because they're forced to sit in a room with people they really don't enjoy.

Now I'm all in favor of the food and the football. But this year, let's make Thanksgiving about giving and about thanks. This year, more than any, might force us to dig deeper. For many, it will mark a year since they've had employment. For others, Thanksgiving will bring another reminder that they haven't found that significant other. And there are those couples who have to face the family questions of why they still can't have children.

For many, this was a year marked by pain. So how do we summon the gratitude? Well, if you're a Christian, you're basis is not your circumstances, but something greater. Paul tells the people of Thessalonica that they could "give thanks in everything." Why? Because this was the "will of God in Christ."

In other words, followers of Christ believe that every piece of hardship is a grace gift from the Lord, sent for their growth, sanctification, and further intimacy with the Almighty. We don't believe we're here on this earth all alone. We believe God is firmly in charge.

Though life may get hard--and it does--it all falls under God's sovereign will. And so we give thanks.

As Americans, we really have cause for gratitude. I have to periodically remind myself of this and remind my family. We so easily get caught up in the easy lust for more stuff. Bigger house, nicer car, better clothes, newest gadgets. But then I remember my travels to third world countries, where I've seen real poverty--and real gratitude on the part of the Christians there.

Tonight, my kids will go to bed with full stomachs. They'll have a roof over their heads. They will have two parents in the next room. They will ride in a nice car. They will have a future that includes a good education. All of those are things most kids in the world don't have. And so, they should be grateful.

Let's not sit around the table carping about the election, complaining about our job status, whining about injustices from friends. Let's instead reset our gratitude meters and offer genuine, heartfelt thanks to God. For salvation in Christ. For His daily care. And for friends and family He graciously provides. Oh, and for wives that allow us to stuff our faces and watch football.

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11/16/18 4:29 A

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Abounding in Thanksgiving in a World of Grumbling - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov 16

by Mike Pohlman

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7

My family and I just completed our first full week in our new home in Richmond, Virginia after leaving Los Angeles to begin my new job as editor of Christianity.com. And if I’m honest I cannot say I’ve been “abounding in thanksgiving” over the last several days. No. In fact, “abounding in grumbling” may be the more accurate phrase to describe my disposition of late. I’ve grumbled about the weather, traffic, leaves, the movers and a myriad of other things petty and not-so-petty. None of this grumbling, however, has been constructive or justified. And, most importantly, it’s been sinful.

To help combat this steady bombardment of grumbling I corralled our children the other night for a family time of thanksgiving. You’ve probably practiced this exercise many times as well: go from person-to-person and highlight things you’re thankful for (it’s tough to grumble when you pause to consider the many blessings in your life).

It took my nine-year-old Samuel some time to get warmed up, but eventually he offered a short list of things he’s thankful for, including our new church.

Anna was next. What would our seven-year-old daughter express gratitude for? Her new neighbor friends across the street and the Bible. Good stuff.

Finally it was John’s turn. He echoed his big brother on some things and agreed with Anna that the neighbors are great, and then with the zeal of most six-year-old boys who love sports, Johnny thanked God for his new basketball hoop out front (and proceeded to remind me of how he beat me in “21” over the weekend, 21 to 17). As Julia left to put our newborn down for the night, I shared with the kids several things I was thankful for. But it wasn't until the next day that I realized the inadequacy of my list.

While I voiced gratitude for God generally, I failed to highlight specific attributes of God that, when I consider them, cause me to “abound in thanksgiving.” Driving to work the next morning I found myself asking, “What is it about God that I am most grateful for?”

The one attribute of God that flooded my heart and mind was His providence—the fact that He orchestrates everything in my life for His glory and my good. It’s the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

In his helpful book, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Jerry Bridges applies Romans 8:28 to the sin of ingratitude. He counsels: “The meaning is that God causes all things to work together for good; for ‘things’—that is, circumstances—do not work together for good themselves. Rather, God directs the outcome of those circumstances for our good.” And what is the “good” God is working? Christlikeness. Indeed, all of our circumstances God uses as a means of our sanctification. I began to abound in thanksgiving as I visualized God as the great conductor over my circumstances, using them as an instrument for my growth in grace.

This Thanksgiving holiday I want me and my family to be “abounding in thanksgiving.” And for this to happen I know being thankful for God in a merely general sense will not suffice. We need to meditate on some particular glories of our great God—not least of which is His sweet providence over our lives. For this I am most grateful.

Intersecting Faith & Life:

Take a moment this Thanksgiving and ask yourself, “What specific attribute of God am I grateful for?” Perhaps you’ll recall His love or mercy or grace or forgiveness or patience or wrath or providence. Challenge your mind to meditate on, and prayerfully consider, some particular glory of God as a means of abounding in thanksgiving

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11/15/18 6:12 A

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The Joy of Thanks-Living - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 15

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

We've arrived at the best time of the year – the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. I just love being with family and friends… enjoying great food, great fellowship, and great football (Go Longhorns!).

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we tend to focus on our blessings and giving thanks for God’s goodness. While that is certainly a good thing, it is not the best thing. The best thing is to turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living. Regardless of the day or the situation, God wants us to be thankful. Why is that?

1. Thanks-living lets God know you have confidence in Him, no matter how deep the problems or how dire the circumstances. Thanks is faith turned inside out.

2. Thanks-living changes your countenance and disposition. Instead of being down and discouraged, spreading gloom and despair everywhere you go, you begin to radiate the joy of the Lord. The best witnesses for Christ are those who are facing life’s trials with a song of thanksgiving on their lips.

3. Thanks-living opens the door for God to work. God hates it when we grumble and gripe... but He loves it when we praise and give thanks. As we begin to live a life of thankfulness to God, He begins to work, even through the toughest trials and tests of faith. Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison… and they sang a hymn of praise to the Lord. And when they finished singing, the Lord sent a jailhouse rock, and the prison doors were opened. You mark it down: God does miracles on our behalf when we choose to thank Him and praise Him, even in the deepest, darkest pit.

Let me challenge you as I challenge myself. Discipline yourself to give thanks in everything. Thank Him for the mountains … and thank Him for the valleys. He is worthy of all your thanks and praise.

A Prayer You May Need to Pray

Dear God, I hate to say it, but I have been guilty of grumbling and griping about all my problems and trials. I have failed to be thankful and to remember that You are at work in my life, even through all the troubles. Please forgive me, God. I want to be a person who keeps my eyes on You and praises You, no matter what may come my way. So, thank you God for these blessings (name them) and these challenges (name them). I know You are in control of all things. I know You love me and work all things together for my good. I choose to trust You, Lord. Teach me to be a “praiser” who always finds the good... and not a complainer who always finds the bad. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Thanksgiving around the Father's Table - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 14

by Anne Graham Lotz. (2012)

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb!

Revelation 19:9 NIV

For years our family have celebrated Thanksgiving at my father's house. The meal was always abundant and delicious - turkey with dressing and gravy, ham, green beans... my mouth waters just thinking about it! But the highlight of Thanksgiving was not the food, or the televised football games, or the fun. The highlight was always the fellowship around the dining room table. As we sipped our coffee and gorged on one last piece of pie, my father presided at the head of the table as each person shared what he or she was most thankful for... We still celebrate this way today, although our family circle is so large we have our dinner at a conference center. But the highlight is sill the story of thanks.

One day, in My Father's House, the table will be set and supper will be ready. One day you and I and all of the Father's children will be seated around that table. One day our Father will preside as He gathers us to Himself, listening intently and lovingly as we share our love for each other and our love for Him. One day My Father's House will be filled with His family, and it won't get any better than that!

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The Thanksgiving Factor - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 12

by Dr. Jeff Schreve

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

In the classic autobiography, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells of her sufferings at the hands of the Nazis during the evil reign of Adolph Hitler. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were incarcerated at the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck, and experienced terrible atrocities there. On one occasion, they were forced to disrobe before the German soldiers. In that awful, humiliating moment, an amazing discovery came to Corrie's mind: "They took Jesus' clothes too. He hung naked for me." When she relayed that wondrous thought to Betsie, she gasped and said, "Oh, Corrie, and I never thanked Him for it."

One of the things that made Corrie and Betsie such dynamic Christians was the fact that the chose to see life from God's perspective. In the worst of situations, they found new insights to praise and thank God.

The Bible tells us that we are to give thanks in everything, the good things AND the bad things. In Psalm 50:23, God says, "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me." In the hard times, thanksgiving is difficult. It is definitely a sacrifice to thank God in a Nazi concentration camp, but it is so very necessary. Thanksgiving honors God, and when you and I honor God, He honors us (1 Samuel 2:30).

How is your thanksgiving factor? Are you facing tough times? Have you been griping and complaining about the things in your life that are hard, lonely and frustrating? Why not try praising and thanking God for your difficulty. He knows about it, He is over it, and He cares for you. Without question, He has a purpose in every trial and tribulation. Start today to live a life of thanksgiving. If you will do it, I promise you on the authority of the Word of God, your attitude will change, the people around you will be blessed, and Jesus Christ will be glorified and honored.

Hoping you will have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Putting the 'Thanks' Back in Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 11

by Dr. Jack Graham

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalms 118:1

An old pastor and his wife invited a new young couple in the church over for Thanksgiving dinner. As the couple entered the home, they smelled the wonderful turkey and all the trimmings in the kitchen. As the four made their way to the dining room table, there was a great feast before them!

But as the young wife scanned the table, she noticed something out of place. Among the turkey, dressing, casseroles, and pies were three Chinese takeout cartons and a plate of egg rolls!

"I know what you're thinking," the old pastor said. "Why is there Chinese takeout on the table?"

"You see," he continued, "23 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, my dear wife burned the turkey and started a fire in our kitchen! In fact, our entire kitchen nearly caught fire and the whole Thanksgiving meal was charred black!"

"So after the fire department left," he chuckled, "we ordered Chinese takeout and that was our Thanksgiving meal! And every year since, we've had Chinese takeout as a part of our meal to remind us to be thankful for what we have!"

This year, I hope Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday for you. It should be a way of life for every Christian. We serve a wonderful God who sent his Son to die for you. So as you continue to reflect on what you are thankful for this year, remember God's blessings in your life!

GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR HOW HE HAS BLESSED YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND ESPECIALLY FOR SENDING CHRIST TO DIE FOR YOU!

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When You Don't Feel Thankful - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 9

By Pastor Jeff Schreve,

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me. - Psalm 50:23

What do you do when your life is going south? What do you do when it is “THANKSGIVING” and you have just lost a loved one… or just lost your job… or just lost your marriage? Surely you cannot be expected to give thanks… can you?

Sometimes thanksgiving is a sacrifice. Sometimes we must thank God through clenched teeth and chocked back tears. Thanksgiving in the midst of a terrible storm brings tremendous joy to His heart. It shows the Lord that we really trust Him… regardless of the adverse circumstances we are facing.

THE THANKSGIVING CONSTANT

Perhaps you are one this year who is having trouble finding good in your life. Look no further than Jesus. He never changes. Despite everything you might be facing, you can rejoice in Him. You can give thanks for Him and His love and care for you. You can give thanks that He promised to work all things together for good.

Train yourself to give thanks in everything. Remember… a sacrifice of thanksgiving brings honor to the Lord. Thank Him for that trial you are facing. Thank Him for that sorrow. He will use your thanks for His glory and your ultimate good!

From His Heart Ministries

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How to Have a Thankful Heart through Difficult Times - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov 8

by Veronica Neffinger,

“For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:15-16)

Colorful, feather-shaped pieces of construction paper sit on the kitchen table, along with cut-outs of turkey-shaped bodies and body parts--beak, feet, etc. My mother brings over the magic markers and we are ready to begin making our yearly Thanksgiving turkeys.

This was a tradition my mother started when I was very young, and we participated every year that I remember until I left for college. We would assemble our turkeys and then write one thing we were thankful for on each feather.

Looking back, I remember it being so simple, especially in the early years: family, friends, pets, God, food, a warm house. In high school things became a bit more theological, but yet they still flowed fairly easily off my pen: salvation, God’s mercy, spiritual mentors.

Holiday traditions like these are fun. They build memories and focus on the blessings of life; but sometimes, especially as adults, it is harder to easily list what we are thankful for. Either it seems too cliche, or we can find it difficult to be sincere about our thankfulness when perhaps times are very hard

“I am proclaiming right now that in times of suffering, a heart of gratitude means more than just saying ‘thank you,’” Fileta says. It means believing that God is who he says he is. Believing that he is good, that he is love, and that he is for me. Believing that he never changes, that he never fails, and that he is working all things for what is good.”

God understands that thankfulness is not always (or usually) a gut-reaction for us. Even Jesus struggled to thankfully accept God’s Plan of salvation while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, preparing to go through the agony of the cross.

“‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him,” Luke 22:42-42 records.

This passage tells us two things:

First, there is value in going through the motions even if the feelings aren’t there. Choosing to thank God even if you don’t feel like it and are actually more stressed than thankful can be an important first step in having your heart opened to true gratitude.

Secondly, the passage says angels ministered to Christ and helped strengthen Him for what he was about to undergo. We have someone even better than God’s entire host of angels to aid us--Jesus Himself.

Though life may bring us trials, we are not alone. And though offering up thanksgiving in the midst of those trials may be a sacrifice, it is a rewarding one.

“When I look at those pieces of my life that look overwhelmingly difficult or disappointing and can thank God for whatever good He plans to bring out of them, I am offering a sacrifice of praise,” says Crosswalk.com conributor April Motl. “When I can entrust what looks like something that is broken beyond repair to my heavenly Father’s goodness and love, I am offering a sacrifice of praise.”

This world and the life we live in it is often a thankfulness-stealer. But in Christ, we know that we can “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) because the trials and hard times are not a test, but another reason to trust God who is working all for our good and has already given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Intersecting Faith & Life:

What prevents you from being thankful this Thanksgiving? How can you seek to have thankfulness through the trials?

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A Prayer for a Thankful Heart - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov.7

by Debbie Przybylski

My cup overflows with your blessings – Psalm 23:5

It is not easy to give thanks in every circumstance. But when we choose to thank God in the midst of difficulty, it defeats the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm. When we thank God for every gift He has given us even when things are hard, the enemy loses the battle against us. He is stopped in his tracks when we come to God with a thankful heart.

Learn to be thankful for every blessing from God in your life. It is of great significance to Him if in the midst of great trials, we can be thankful. There is a way of looking at life from the standpoint of eternity. The reality of eternal life and eternal glory that far exceeds this life is a priceless treasure. Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

A Prayer for a Thankful Heart

Lord, teach me to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily experiences of life. I long to bring pleasure to Your heart daily. Break the power of the enemy in my life. Defeat Him through my sacrifice of praise. Change my outlook and attitude into one of joyful contentment with my present circumstances. I thank You for… [Name a difficult circumstance in your life presently and thank God for it.]

Jesus, I want to be like You who obeyed the Father without complaint. You embraced the chains of humanity when You walked this earth. Convict me whenever I complain or compare myself with others. I know that Your truth dwells in a thankful heart.

‘I will give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens’ (Psalm 7:17-18:1). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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How Giving Thanks Can Deepen Your Joy - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 6

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Psalm 30:11-12

The wonderful poet Annie Johnson Flint composed a poem that gives remarkable insight into Christian gratitude. She wrote,

As we offer our small rejoicing for the love that surrounds our days
All the wonderful works of Thy goodness open before our gaze.
And through gates of our narrow thanksgiving we shall enter Thy courts of praise.

Praise and thanksgiving to God do more than make us feel good. They also increase our comprehension and apprehension of God’s goodness. And through that, we receive a greater capacity to enjoy Him and experience Him in our lives.

While many people spend a great deal of time enlarging their prayer lists, we must also spend time enlarging our praise list and counting the blessings of God—naming them one by one. This day is about more than turkey; it’s about recognizing God’s goodness in our lives.

As you count your blessings today, let that guide your thoughts. Give God praise for His goodness and you’ll enjoy Him all the more!

LET GOD’S GOODNESS GUIDE YOUR THOUGHTS THIS THANKSGIVING AND YOU’LL DEEPEN YOUR ENJOYMENT OF HIM!

By Jack Graham
PowerPoint Ministries

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Encountering God through Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 5

Weekly Overview:

Having consistent and transformational encounters with God while on earth is meant to be foundational to the Christian life. Our God has not left us. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we’ve been filled with the very Spirit of God who longs to reveal to us daily the nearness and love of our heavenly Father. We are never alone. There is nowhere we can flee from the presence of our God. May this week be filled with transformational encounters with the living God as we learn what it is to seek the face of the one who has formed us, knows us, and loves us unconditionally.

Scripture: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4

Devotional:

Thanksgiving is a gift given to us by the good and loving nature of our heavenly Father. In and out of every season of life, we have a reason to give thanks because we serve a wholly faithful, good, and loving God. We serve the only King who would lay down his life for his unworthy, rebellious servants. We serve a God perfectly worthy of all the thanksgiving and praise we could possibly give.

In using the incredible gift of thanksgiving, we remind ourselves of how truly good our Father is. In thanksgiving, we experience the joy of a proper perspective and have our hearts stirred by the renewing of our minds. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” When we come before God with thanksgiving, we seek the face of our Father while grounding ourselves firmly in the truth of his perfect nature. When we begin our days, prayers, worship, reading, and fellowship with a heart of thanksgiving, we live out of a place of faith and reality found in the kingdom of God come to earth.

Our God is bigger and better than our circumstances, fears, wounds, misconceptions, and past failures. There is security and joy in declaring the goodness, kindness, loving, and eternal nature of our Father. We dictate the emotions we feel by what we choose to dwell on and believe. Our minds are the battleground for our emotions, actions, and desire to dwell in communion with our good God.

Ephesians 5:20 says we are to be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And Psalm 92:1-5 says:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!

Our hearts become glad when we offer continual thanksgiving. Five minutes of thanksgiving and praise has the power to change the direction of each day. It has the power to stir our hearts and make us open to and aware of God’s will for us in every situation. It fills us with an atmosphere of joy and of the Spirit. And it can greatly assist us in choosing the life of communion with the Father over the pursuits of the world as temptations and situations arise. May you be empowered and filled with transcendent joy as you engage in continual thanksgiving.

Take time in guided prayer to practice thanksgiving and enjoy the fruits of a renewed mind and a heart filled with joy and truth.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the importance of thanksgiving. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire to offer thanksgiving in every season.

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:1-2

2. Take time to give thanks to God. Think about how he sent Jesus to die for you. Think about how faithful he is and always will be. Think about how good heaven will be. Give thanks for any gift he’s given you.

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.” Psalm 69:30-31

“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” Psalm 75:1

3. How do you feel after taking time to engage in thanksgiving? Have your concerns, desires, and perspectives shifted? Journal about the effects of thanksgiving on your heart and mind.

We are continually commanded by Scripture to remember the deeds of our God. When the world comes crashing down around us, it’s hard sometimes to remember how faithful God has been and will be. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the fleeting cares and problems of this life and forget how perfect and never-ending the next life will be. Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” May you be quick to remember the benefits of restored relationship with your heavenly Father today as you take time to bless and thank the Lord for all the wonderful things he’s given you.

Extended Reading: Deuteronomy 8

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A Season of Thanks November 3, 2018

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. —Psalms 119:160

This holiday season, you will most likely hear the song “My Favorite Things” from the Broadway musical The Sound of Music. To me this song has always felt out of place during the holidays, until recently. I have begun to hear it in a new light, recognizing the famous list of “favorite things” as a list of reasons to be thankful. The character Maria, who sings this song, thinks about her list of favorite things when she seeks comfort.

Christians have a list as well. Found in the Bible are promises from our Lord – keepsakes we can cling to at all times including periods of worry, trouble, or despair. These promises urge Christ-followers not to be troubled or to feel alone. They are words offering great hope because they are not the words of mere men. They are inspired, never-changing words given to us from our Savior and Lord. Read through a few of these promises below:

The Lord will give His people strength. Psalm 29:11
The Lord hears our cries. Psalm 34:17
The Lord will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4-5
The Lord will answer when you call to Him. Jeremiah 33:3
You need not be afraid. God is with you. Isaiah 41:13
The Lord will give rest to your burdened soul. Matthew 11:28-29
The Lord will comfort you. John 14:27
The Lord has given us His Spirit to guide us. Acts 1:8
You will have everlasting life when you believe. John 3:16

The list can go on and on. The Lord promises us mercy, protection, strength, eternity, love, and forgiveness. As it says in the Bible, God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18) and His word is truth (John 17:1). We cannot look at God’s promises like we do those of our friends and family. As people, we often promise, but don’t follow through, even when we have the best of intentions. God’s Word is binding and true. These promises hold fast. We do not have to wonder if they will happen. Rather, we ought to wait in expectation. So “when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you’re feeling sad,” I encourage you to remember all God has promised you. It is in these promises you will find great strength.

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