by Linzy Slayden
All of us have a hard time maintaining an attitude of gratitude. And yet, there is no greater resource for living than a thankful heart.
Maybe the reason we have such a tough time with being thankful is because we put so little emphasis on it. For too many, Thanksgiving is just a day of feasting, football, and falling asleep, or maybe the start of the Christmas rush. What we need to do is set aside one day for complaining and griping and 364 days to be thankful. Okay, maybe two days to gripe and complain … maybe a week, but that’s all.
Thanksgiving is an attitude that includes rejoicing. Rejoicing somehow puts us in a better position to be thankful. Maybe one of the reasons we don’t rejoice more is the picture we have of a joyful person is someone whose head is in the clouds. However, rejoicing is more of an attitude of the heart. The biblical picture of someone who rejoices always is a person who is somehow able to rejoice his or her way through life. True Christian rejoicing helps us face the ups and downs of life.
If the Bible tells us to rejoice always, it stands to reason that we should be glad to do it in the midst of the bad as well as the good.
Then there is the matter of prayer. Prayer and thanksgiving are also soulmates. A life of constant prayer is a life that will be thankful.
There is yet another command that seems difficult, and that is to be thankful in all things. In a few things, yes; in good things, yes; but in everything, that’s another matter. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear. We are to give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for our lives. Luckily, the scripture says in everything and not for everything. It is hard to be thankful for horrible things that happen in this life. However, we can give thanks for God’s comfort, care, and love in the midst of those experiences.
Do you know what the greatest hindrance to being thankful is? Not thinking. In the old Anglo-Saxon language, “thankfulness” means “thinkfulness.” The more we think, the more thankful we will be. We might say that those who are not thankful do not think too much. Count your blessings, as the song says, and thanksgiving will fill your heart.
The BBFI meeting in Boston was historic. The great venues, the powerful preaching, the wonderful music, the missionary approvals, a new ministry in Hungary, the time with old and new friends, the sights, the sounds, and the tastes of Boston made it one of the best meetings we have ever enjoyed.
President Dave Melton and everyone connected with Boston Baptist College did an amazing job of hosting this meeting. I am thankful for the BBFI family and what we can experience together. I am looking forward to the Lord’s working in our movement.