As we round the bases on 2020, and many of us plan to gather for Thanksgiving, and then prepare for Christmas, it is important for us to recognize the reason for it all. The Bible speaks over and over about giving thanks, yet it is increasingly difficult for many of us to find it. We can blame TV, and the News, social media, politics and whatever else we want to, but the simple fact remains that we are not connected as we like to the One who is the reason for giving Thanks. Let us consider that the fruits of the spirit are "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control" (Galatians 5:22-23). If we have these things, we can't help but be grateful and live a life of gratitude to the One who gives us this fruit. Life is difficult. We live in a fallen world, and there's reasons to be upset, sad, and anxious. Yet Christ removes these from us as we give our own lives completely to Him. Romans 10:17 says "Faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." If we want to be less anxious and more grateful, even if life is not where WE planned, we must seek Him. And He speaks to us through His word. We are promised an increase of faith as we seek His word. The world around us will always be in chaos until Jesus returns: the Prince of this world, Satan, is a master of deception, and so he will always seek to disrupt that peace Jesus brings. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfector of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2), it will be HIs Joy and His glory we seek, something this life can never give us apart from Him. Do you want true gratitude? Lay your life upon Jesus, the reason for it all. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.