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Thankful Heart

As any new season approaches, I love to change the décor in my home. The fall season for me is full of pumpkins and gourds, vibrant oranges/reds/yellows/browns, pumpkin-spice anything, candy corn, and all kinds of sayings pointing us toward having a thankful heart. I put up signs that say “Happy Thanksgiving”, “Count Your Many Blessings”, “Give Thanks in All Things”. This theme stays up in my house until right after the Thanksgiving holiday when it all gets replaced with the reds and greens of Christmas. So does that mean that I am only to have a grateful heart while my Thanksgiving décor remains in place? Does reading a sign that tells me to be thankful automatically translate to me having a grateful heart? Once again it is time for me to go to the source of truth to see what God has to teach me about being thankful.

Scripture gives me a resounding, emphatic answer that having a thankful heart is NOT a seasonal activity. God’s Word has lots to teach us about being ALWAYS thankful.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:1-4

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

And on that day you will say, "Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted." Praise the LORD in song, for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the earth. Isaiah 12:4-5

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:1-5

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:15-17

Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13

… but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father. Ephesians 5:18-20

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Psalm 107:1-3

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

This year God has given me a renewed hunger and passion for His Word, especially for the writings of Paul. Paul tells the Philippians (and you and me):

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

I totally believe that Paul hit the nail on the head in this passage. His inspired words completely define for us what it means to have a thankful heart. I HAVE LEARNED TO BE CONTENT WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Paul was content through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most of his ministry was from behind the bars of a jail cell. But he had a thankful, contented heart. As I read and glean from all the above scriptures I know that is what God desires for me too, and for each of you. Give thanks CONTINUALLY in ALL circumstances, have a grateful heart ALWAYS, praise Him in ALL things, CONSTANTLY recognize His blessings, PERSISTENTLY see His goodness, be content in ALL circumstances, AT ALL TIMES be at peace in Him, PERMANENTLY rest in Him.

I pray that you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING now and EVERYDAY/EVERY MINUTE of your life!


Pam Bandermann, from Cape Girardeau, MO, is married to Rick and they have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. Pam is a retired school district administrator and her passions are traveling, reading, serving college students through the ministry of her local church, and spending time with family and friends. During the COVID crisis she became a "pandemic quilter". Seeing how the colors and shapes all fit perfectly together is a beautiful reminder of the body of Christ.

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