“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
It is hard to believe November is already here. Fall is in full swing with chili and soup simmering on our stoves, and the holiday season is right around the corner. This time of the year is really my favorite time of the year, and at the same time, my least favorite time of the year. How can that be? Let me explain.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approaches, there is electricity and excitement in the air. The anticipation of being with family that we normally do not get to see on a regular basis, favorite meals being prepared, and fellowship with others seem to be the norm for this time of year. This time of the year can be a great blessing as we think about the goodness of our God in each of our lives, especially as we gather together with friends and family. Spending time and enjoying meals together can be a tremendous joy and God-honoring if done in the right spirit.
However, what I often find is a spirit of resentment and burden. It doesn’t take long to see that when you are in your local store trying to buy the last minute trimmings for Thanksgiving. We overbook our schedules, which leads to stress and anxiety, which leads to a spirit of murmuring and griping, which leads to sin. The Apostle Paul tells the church at Thessalonica that this is not God’s will for your life. God’s will for the believer’s life is to be one of “joy, prayer, and giving thanks in all circumstances.” Joyfulness, praying, and giving thanks is God’s will for your life and my life as we approach a busy time of the year.
Therefore, as some prepare to travel, shop, cook, and spend time with family, be sure that you slow down to “rejoice in the Lord… pray without ceasing… and give thanks to God,” for without Him, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy this time of year. I guess what I am saying is don’t be like the person I heard last who said, “I’ll be so glad when this [Thanksgiving & Christmas] is all over.” Rather, enjoy the bountiful blessings of the Lord. And most of all, rest safe and secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work upon the cross.
For that is truly a reason to give thanks.