October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving: an Attitude

Philippians 4:4-13

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. In the United States we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving about six weeks from now. If you live in another country, will you soon be celebrating a thanksgiving holiday too?

As we think about such holidays, however, we really should ask ourselves, “Why should I need a special day for thanksgiving? Shouldn’t I be giving thanks to God every day?”

I should be thankful for the very fact that I was born and not killed, like many, by abortion, and that I have enough to eat while millions go to bed hungry. One of the reasons why we are often not thankful is that we always want to compare. People say, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence”; maybe we should take the time to notice that some neighbors cannot even afford to have a lawn or garden.

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. Nobody knew how long he would live, but he is now 26 years old. It was amazing to see him in person, with joy bubbling all over his face, and to hear him say, “As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles, but—praise the Lord, he gave me the strength to have a burning desire to reach out and bring people to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.”

If Nick can be thankful each day, how can we not be?

Gracious Lord, help us learn “to be content whatever the circumstances,” knowing that we “can do everything through him who gives [us] strength.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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