As a young child, about eight years old, my third grade school teacher encouraged us to memorize scripture. She had a chart on the board that recorded each of the verses that we were to memorize, and we would place a star by that verse when we had it memorized. One of the passages that I memorized in her class that year was Psalm 100. I am grateful for that teacher and her commitment to help young children not only learn reading, writing and arithmetic but to also memorize God’s word in preparing us for life. Those verses are still engrained in my memory and I am grateful for a teacher that knew how important God’s word is for daily living.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations”. Psalm 100:4-5 (KJV)
I used the King James version because that is the way that I memorized it.
This is the time of the year when we focus on Thanksgiving and what we are grateful for in our lives. This year has been a difficult year for everyone. We have been pushed out of our comfort zone with Covid-19. It is not a year that any would want to repeat and yet it is also a year that we will not forget any time soon.
As we reflect on this year, we need to focus on what we are grateful for. We might say, how can we be grateful in such a time as this. Throughout the Bible, we are commanded to be thankful. A spirit of thanksgiving is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord.
When we start to think of all that we have and all that we are thankful for the list is probably larger than it would be if times were easier. You see, the hardships we go through make us look to God and depend on Him more. It is like the story of the footprints in the sand. We ask, why is there only one set of footprints when life is hard. It is because in times like these He carries us.
As we think of things that we are thankful for, first we have to be thankful for the material blessings that God gives us. Some people are never satisfied with what they have, but what a difference it makes when we realize that everything we have has been given to us by God.
Next, thank God for the people in your life. It is so easy to take them for granted or to complain when they do not meet our every wish. We need to give thanks for our family and for our friends. Most of all, thank God for Christ and His love for us.
Lastly, we need to thank God during trials and even Covid-19. None of us are exempt from trouble. Yet during trials and trouble we can thank God because we know He has promised to be with us and help us.
We always want to try to fix things and we want things to go our way. But we must remember that we must totally depend on Him. No matter what comes our way, God is going to carry us through it!