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There's a thanksgiving movement on social media.

Have you noticed all the expressions circulating recently of gratefulness for heartfelt gifts, benefits, and blessings people experience, even among one of the most troublesome years of a lifetime? It is very touching that so many have the optimism and clarity to look introspectively at their lives, even during turbulent times, and direct themselves towards an attitude of gratitude, as the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas/Hanukkah seasons approach.

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Things will most likely be different this year.

The holidays have me remembering family, friends, food, reunions, gatherings, fun, sparkling lights, music, presents, love and joy! Even though we've seen a lot of change this year, the miracle of this season still confirms the power of belief, which occurs from the small, but exciting, acts of sincere gift-giving and service. This seems to be the time of year when love, hopefulness, healing, and renewal are most apparent.

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I love the messages contained in Psalms.

Psalms 51:15–16 KJV), reminds us to “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows to the Most High: Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.” This is one of those Scriptural passages, in which God gives commands and then follows them with the rewards He intends to bestow upon the faithful.

  • First, He tells us to offer thanksgiving: Be thankful. He knows we all must endure difficulties in life (some years worse than others.) But God also knows, if we will open our eyes and hearts, and elevate out thoughts amid discouragements, we may recognize the many mercies He continues to distill on us.

  • Secondly, He instructs us to pay vows: Keep commitments to God. Don't give up on faith; focus on him and, as we we work through the tough times, our faith and resolve grows powerfully because daily struggles facilitate the development of strength and character.

  • Then, we are directed to call on Him in the day of trouble: Pray for assistance. He doesn't expect us to carry heavy loads on our own; He just wants us to ask for help. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 KJV). As we lean on him during hard times, we begin to recognize his hand in our lives, which recognition sews the seeds of hope, faith, and trust in God.

  • Next, He guarantees deliverance from trouble: Relief. God always soothes the grateful in any stage of illness or injury, even while we wait for the promised deliverance. Often, deliverance comes in the form of complete healing or pain relief. Other times it manifests as an increased capacity to bear a particular burden with ease and lightness, leading us to more comfort and joy. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30 KJV).

  • Lastly, He commands us to glorify Him, as deliverance occurs: Return thanksgiving. As we enjoy God's solace and healing salve, we return thanks back to him and glorify his Love, Power, and Goodness. This cycle of thanksgiving-duty-prayer-deliverance-thanksgiving proliferates a momentum of peace and joy. It expands and fuels an improved quality of life in the grateful. The Psalms passages indicate that this is exactly the kind of life God wants for us.

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Give thanks and live.

Life can be hard but the purpose of it is not to depress or destroy us. The key to happiness is the development of gratitude, which allows us to always see the good in life, even in light of the bad. Patience, hope, empathy, kindness, compassion, dedication, and optimism are among the many blessings granted to the grateful.

I pray hope, happiness, healing, and a very blessed Thanksgiving for you and your family. A vaccine is right around the corner and there is always so much for which to be grateful.

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