Let’s start with admitting the obvious truth. We don’t wake up thankful every day. So, how can we fight for thankfulness each and every day, making Thanksgiving Day less of an oddity in our lives and more of a celebration of our everyday reality?
CELEBRATE MERCY: If you are in Christ, you aren’t getting what you deserve. No matter how bad things may be, no matter how dark the circumstances, you are not experiencing the worst. Even today I was reminded that my trials and afflictions, though seemingly dark and tiresome, are light in comparison to so many around me. And my afflictions are definitely less than I deserve.
“The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.”–John Newton
CELEBRATE IDENTITY: If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, and adopted child, a branch grafted into the vine of life. Nothing can change that. And as a child of grace, even the most paltry of thanks raised to the Father in our weakness is reproduced into great glory through the grace of Jesus Christ. In your identity and position as children of the living God, praise God that He is strong in your weakness… even in your inability to muster up sufficient thankfulness.
CELEBRATE THE VICTORIOUS END OF THE STORY: Eternity will be marked by no more fighting for joy. Instead, we will be ever joyful in the presence of the joy-giving Lamb. Remind yourself not only of your present reality, but also of your ultimate end as a child of God. You will be with Him and you will see Him face to face. You will be like Him, for you will see Him as He is. And you will rejoice with every other saint for all eternity.
How divinely full of glory and pleasure shall that hour be when all the millions of mankind that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God shall meet together and stand around Him, with every tongue and every heart full of joy and praise! How astonishing will be the glory and the joy of that day when all the saints shall join together in one common song of gratitude and love, and of everlasting thankfulness to this Redeemer! With that unknown delight, and inexpressible satisfaction, shall all that are saved from the ruins of sin and hell address the Lamb that was slain, and rejoice in His presence! — Isaac Watts
So tomorrow, if you don’t wake up thankful, celebrate God’s mercy in your present circumstances, God’s grace in your purchased identity, and God’s joy found in His perfect eternal presence.