Struggling to be thankful this year? For whatever reason maybe this year is a little more difficult to have a heart of gratitude. You are looking forward to spending time with your family and eating some turkey, but it is difficult to find things to be thankful for. If this is you, I know you are not alone. Sometimes our present circumstances can weigh us down that it is hard for us to rejoice or be thankful. However, God gives us a great way to fill our hearts with thanksgiving – Remembrance.
If you have spent some time studying the Bible, one of the things God instructs us to do is to remember. As we examine all the festivals and feast in the Old Testament, they were events to remember God’s powerful works done in the past. Passover is a perfect example, as the events purpose is to remember God’s sparing of Israel’s first born and the Lord’s mighty deliverance of his people from the hand of Pharaoh.
Remembrance is not just an important concept in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament as well. In the Last Supper, Jesus told us to partake of the meal and to do so in remembrance of him. As a result, the church in all her history made a practice of partaking in the Lord’s supper remembring his horrific crucifixion in his sacrifice for our sins.
In general, I do not think we would typically characterize ourselves as thankful people. Sure on Thanksgiving when family is together, the Turkey is hot, and the football is on we might give thanks. In general though, I do not think our lives are lived in thanksgiving. Rather than thankfullness we complain, groan, and grumble about our life. Perhaps one of the reasons we are so unthankful is because we take so little time to remember. Our minds are consumed on the present and anxious for the future. We devote very little time to reminiscing and remembering the past. Yet, it is in the past that we can confidently see God’s sovereign hand working in our lives. It is in the past that we can remember how he has provided us, protected us, and delivered us.
When we pause, sit down, and start remembring, thanksgiving will be the result. When we reflect on God’s graciousness to us we cannot help but be thankful. Both our physcial needs and our greater spiritual need has been provided by God. He has provided us with our daily bread and he has given us the bread of life.
So if this thanksgiving, if you are having a hard time finding ways to be thankful, stop and remember. Remember the ways He has cared for you. Remember the ways He has provided for you. Remember the incredible gift of Jesus Christ, that you have been saved and redeemed through him. When you start remembring, you will quickly find your heart in thanksgiving.