November 26, 2009
The Taste Berry
Psalm 138:2 "I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name."
Friend To Friend
One of the first lessons we teach our children is to say "thank you" when receiving a gift or a compliment from someone. It is just good manners, right? When it comes to thanking God for all He has done in my life, my manners need a monumental overhaul. I am quick to lay my needs and concerns at His feet in prayer, but when those prayers are answered, I tend to get so wrapped up in the answer that I forget to thank the One who provided the answer. Can you relate? We are not alone.
While Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he came to a small town where ten men who had a skin disease met him. They did not come close to Jesus but called to him, "Jesus! Master! Have mercy on us!"
When Jesus saw the men, he said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." As the ten men walked away, they were healed. When one of them saw that he was healed, he went back to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice. Then he bowed down at Jesus' feet and thanked him. Jesus said, "Weren't ten men healed? Where are the other nine? (Luke 17)
We are quick to ask God to meet our needs but we sometimes forget to thank Him for doing so.
While Thanksgiving does remind us to stop and give thanks, Thanksgiving is not just a national holiday to be celebrated for a few hours each November. Learning to live in the gear of perpetual thanksgiving is a life changing discipline. Giving thanks should be a natural characteristic and innate practice of every believer. We should be quick to thank God for all that He has done as well as for all He is presently doing and going to do in our life. That is where faith comes in.
We may not always understand God's process but we can always trust His heart. A thankful heart is a trusting heart. Learning to be thankful - even when we cannot see, hear or understand what God is doing or how He is working - is authentic thanksgiving and the direct result of a living, active and personal faith in God.
It is said that in Africa there is a fruit called the "taste berry." It changes a person's taste so that everything eaten after eating the berry tastes good and sweet. A thankful heart is the "taste berry" of an obedient life. When our heart is filled with gratitude, life is sweeter. Before you cut that turkey or eat that first bite of dressing, check your heart.
Lord, I give thanks to You for You are good; Your love endures forever. You are with me so I will not be afraid. You are my strength and my song and my salvation. You have made this day so I will rejoice and be glad in it. You are my God and I will give You thanks. You are good and I will lift You up with my thanksgiving. Father, I praise You because You have conquered and taken away the sting of death. Today, I choose to give You thanks in all circumstances - no matter what - because I know it is Your will for me to praise You. Be lifted up, God, and be enthroned in the praises I bring.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
It may be Thanksgiving Day on the calendar but for some of us it is a dark and uncertain day. Remember that our inner attitude does not have to reflect our outer circumstances. We can choose to give God thanks and we can literally train our heart in an attitude of gratitude.
- Go back over the past year. What has God done in your life? Thank Him for each blessing that comes to mind. Thank Him for answered prayer, spiritual blessings, relational blessings, physical blessings and material blessings.
- Make a list of your blessings. Share them with family and friends.
- Make a new commitment today to cultivate a thankful heart.
More From The Girlfriends
The Girlfriends in God team prays that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We pray that your table is full, that your family and friends are gathered together and that your home is a place of joy and your life an illustration of our living God!
Gwen, Sharon and I thank God for you and this precious ministry we share as girlfriends in God and look forward to doing life with you in the days ahead. Blessings!
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Thursday, 26 November 2009.