Ever felt that way? Hard things come our way and we lose focus. Hard people come our way and we lose courage. Hard times come our way and we lose faith. We are so far from thankful that we've gone to the other extreme of actually being ungrateful.

We have our celebrations and family feasts, but our hearts have forgotten true thankfulness, and we have become like the nine lepers who never returned to Jesus.

Those ten lepers looked for pity because, like us, they were diseased, alone, and ailing. And although they were completely healed, only one thought to return to the Healer.

I believe losing a thankful heart is just as crippling a disease as leprosy - it's a kind of leprosy of the soul. It causes men and women (even those who call themselves Christians) to go through the motions but forget to return to their Healer.

And, after looking at reasons for thanksgiving in the Scriptures, I have come to the conclusion that I am far from truly thankful also. Look at these:

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me, And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. 2 Samuel 22:47-50

The Lord is our Deliverer. This is not just about the food we eat and the clothes we wear - it is being thankful about Who the Lord is. How has He delivered you?

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. 1 Chronicles 16:8-12

We are exhorted here to not only thank God for what He has done for us, but to declare to others His deeds - who better than to those of our own household?

It also said, "seek His face continually." Is seeking Him a continual habit in my home? For that matter, is thanksgiving a habit? Are we making the seeking of His face and the giving of thanks a priority and a custom in our homes daily? I fall short here, as well.

Here's another:

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD. 1 Chronicles 16: 34-36

Do I think about giving thanks for His goodness and mercy? How about for His holiness as stated here:

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psalm 30: 4

Or what about "triumphing in His praise"? I think I am far from that, to

Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 106:47, 48

How often do we give God thanks and praise and affirmation? The angels in heaven around His throne continue day and night in praise of His Holiness. We should do no less. Morning, noon, and night, every day of every year of our short lives should be spent in thanksgiving and praise. I desire to be closer to that goal.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Psalm 71:8

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. Psalm 119:164

At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. Psalm 119: 62

Instead of being like that leper who never returns to the Healer, let's join those around the throne of God and worship Him for the beauty of His Holiness and enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

And, the next time you run across folks who have something to complain about, whether it is their spouses or their children or their lot in life, or know some miserable creatures looking for pity (and they may even be at your own Thanksgiving table), remind them of the beauty of the Lord - maybe even print off all of these Scriptures and more (there are tons) and have each person read one or two and pick out the reasons in each that show why we can offer true thanks. Maybe even read that parable of the ten lepers!

I am encouraged to turn around and head straight back to Jesus and fall before Him in thanksgiving, bringing my children with me.


Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Editor of the Schoolhouse Support eNewsletter, wife to Richard and mom to seven gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, homeschooling, and of course, dark chocolate! Email senioreditor@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com, Blog: www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/devdoordeborah

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