I’m going to be quaint here, something you might think for the inside of a fortune cookie – Not Thanksgiving, Thanksliving. Thanksliving: A Life that Proceeds out of Thanks to God. You give thanks, you live thanks. You could thank God, but if you don’t live for God, He isn’t being given thanks. This is how thanks reads in scripture. In Romans 1, the unthankful is the unbeliever, who lives for himself. If you are thankful, you don’t live for yourself, you live for God, because you get it. God has given you everything you have. Every good thing comes from God (James 1:17) and every bad thing comes because of men. You can’t separate yourself from the bad things, because even if you are born with a nature to sin, you also chose to sin. If sin entered into the world through the first sin, you’ve committed a sin, offended the law in one point at least, as James 2:10 mentions. Even if there is bad all around, the good things outweigh the bad, or else you would be sunk. You wouldn’t survive. The pilgrims knew that, and after they survived the Winter, they gave thanks for what God had done. Abraham Lincoln, I believe, instituted Thanksgiving as an American Holiday, fitting for a country that made its way through a horrific conflict, the Civil War, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, and coming through intact. For us, it’s redemption and eternal life through Jesus.
Last week I wrote about discouragement, and I said that one cure or solution to it is to think about the right thing. I didn’t mention in that short essay how that Paul said this was the cure for anxiety in Philippians 4, that is, to think on certain things. If someone is saved, and, therefore, has the Holy Spirit indwelling him, he has the cure for discouragement on the inside of him. If he is filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit, then he has the positive disposition or attitude of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. Discouragement or worry would not be on that list. Parallel to the control of the Holy Spirit, we know because of Colossians 3:16, is control by the Word of God, which comes from thinking and then living the Word of God. When you are controlled by the Holy Spirit, you are filled with the Spirit, then He, the Holy Spirit, will produce this disposition for you. This relates to a lot of passage of scripture that relate happiness to doing right. When you are doing right, you’ve got right things to see in your life right at the moment. It also means you are progressing, growing, and adding to your Christian life. That is how God intended you to live. You are being a success. If you have success to look at right now, you can be encouraged with that. That brings completion or fulfillment to your life. You are fulfilling God’s purpose for you, and you’re then happy.