3 ways the holidays remind us to be thankful
Christmas is my favorite time of the year, aside from Thanksgiving. Growing up, my fondest memories came from Christmas. Wondering what Santa Claus will put under the Christmas tree, the colorful lights, the snow, and Christmas songs made it fun and exciting. But now, Christmas involves juggling three families Christmas’s, negotiating times that work for everyone–this can be the most difficult part–and buying the perfect present; hoping and praying they loved what they got.
The holidays can bring a lot of joy and happiness. But for some, the holidays can bring a lot of disappointment. Let’s face it, there can be a lot of pressure around the holidays. Preparing and cooking dinner, cleaning the house to host guests, and buying the perfect present for everyone on your list.
Sometimes, the holidays can bring more stress than joy. And being stressed out can overshadow what the holiday season should be about: being thankful to God.
It’s difficult to feel thankful when you’re stressed out and things aren’t going according to plan. But as Christians, we should always have an attitude of gratitude all year long, and not just around the holidays. Here are 3 ways this holiday season should remind us to be thankful.
Give thanks for God’s enduring love
God loves us no matter what the transgressions we have committed again Him. We first disobeyed God, when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Despite our disobedience, God NEVER stopped loving us! As His children, we should show God our Father the gratitude for his never-ending love. “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1; 1 Chronicle 16:34, NIV)
Thankfulness leads to witnessing
Showing our gratitude to God, not only shows respect towards his authority, but it can lead to witnessing. When we ‘witness’, we are testifying to others what Jesus Christ has personally done to change our own life. Each of us who has come to Christ has a testimony to share with others how He transformed us from a life of sin to a life of salvation. Sharing our personal testimonies with other people shows God how thankful we are for his saving grace.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1, NIV)
Be thankful no matter what
I know it’s hard to be thankful when things are not going right. Life may feel like one giant minefield. You may have faced a job loss, the death of a loved one, or even going through a painful divorce. It may feel like the situation you are in will never end. Here’s the thing, it will end. The pain we face within everyday life leads to the perfecting and making us holier. God values each and every one of His children.
His love is so vast and so strong, he gave us the greatest gift of all–Jesus. Think of it this way, if God didn’t love us so much, why would He send us a savior to die for our sins? He sent Jesus because we are worth saving. Because of this, we should show how thankful He loves us so much. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)
Showing God how thankful we are for saving us shouldn’t just be shown around the holidays. But the holidays should be a reminder of why we should be thankful for God’s neverending love. God gave us a savior in Jesus Christ. Despite our sinful nature and disobedience, God never turned His back on us. We should remember that God didn’t have to save us. He CHOSE to save us. So, let this holiday season be a reminder of why we should be thankful all year long.
Christian, Husband, Political junkie, Braves fan, Marvel Nerd, craft beer aficionado, and a sinner saved by grace. He has a passion for helping Christian men grow in their faith. He is the founder and editor of Joshua’s Outpost.