Faith and Thanksgiving -Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!

  • Post published:November 23, 2021
  • Post category:Faith

“I call dibs on the drumstick!” “We need to eat before the football game at 4:30!” “Did you get all the sales coupons?”


Whether we think about them as traditions or not, we all have them.  And this time of year, at Thanksgiving, they are especially rampant.  Year, after year, after year on Thanksgiving we all usually do the same things.  Eating turkey, and too much other good food, as we gather around the table with family or friends.

Then there is the tradition of loosening our belt while we watch football. Of course, this is because we enjoyed the first tradition so much!   Don’t forget the sales! Who wants to miss hitting the Black Friday sales, even if we have to get up at the crack of dawn?

But what is the purpose of Thanksgiving besides over eating and sales?

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it as a national holiday, stating that it was a day of
Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”1

In this day and age, our intention at Thanksgiving is to reflect on and give thanks to the Lord for all we have received throughout the year.  Just as old Abe proclaimed. But then Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a television or computer to distract him.

Even if we are just watching the Thanksgiving Day parade or football ….
BAM! Buy this!
BAM! Sale price!

All day long we are bombarded with ads to buy stuff! These ads tempt us to focus on what we do not have rather than being content and thankful for what we do have.

Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with buying things. The Lord is not against prosperity.  Just take a look at Abraham, not Lincoln, but the one in Genesis 24:35, Isaac, (Genesis 26:12-14), and Job, (Job 42:10). They were all prosperous at the Lord’s hand.

But material possessions are not God’s priority. His priority is our hearts.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

God asks us to have a thankful heart for EVERYTHING, whether we are prosperous materialistically or not.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

God also asks us to be content with whatever He has given us.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Contentment and thankfulness have a lot of benefits.

Obviously, contentment brings peace. That’s a big benefit. Who doesn’t want a little peace?

It also brings objectiveness!

When we are content and thankful, we get the benefit of objectiveness. Contentment and thankfulness allow us to more freely examine our desires to see if they line up with God’s will for us. They take our eyes off our desires and what others have, putting our focus on what God wants for us at that moment.

Our desires and discontent don’t have to be for material goods, they can be for relationships, jobs, or anything else. But God doesn’t categorize what we are to be content with or thankful for. He includes it all saying be thankful in everything.

Sometimes being thankful and content is not easy.

If our heart is not thankful, what can we do?

In faith, we give thanks out of obedience. Faith is a choice. Obedience is a choice. These choices are not based on feelings. We may not feel thankful, but when we thank God out of faith and obedience, He will honor that.  I have found that when I am thankful over and over again, simply out of faith and obedience, in time, the thankfulness reaches my heart.  Seeing how God changes my heart grows my faith and helps me to be more thankful for everything.

What about contentment?

Recognizing our blessings and thanking God for them daily, will help us to be more content.  If we write at least one blessing down daily, then on those days when discontentment loams in front of us, we can reread our blessings. This will bring us peace as we think on the good things our loving Heavenly Father has done for us. It also builds our faith that what God has done for us before, in His love for us, He will do again.

So, when we are chomping down on turkey and pie, or whatever we are eating on Thursday, let’s all take a moment to be thankful.

In this season of Thanksgiving, let me take this opportunity to thank each one of you who have read my book or blogs. I am blessed and grateful for you all!


Take a moment to write down at least 9 things you are thankful for and 1 thing you are not thankful for. Could you express thanks to God and perhaps others for the 9 things? Could you thank God out of faith and obedience for the 1 thing?


Heavenly Father, as I write 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and say it aloud, help me to be thankful from my heart for all things. Help me to focus on what You have given me rather than what I lack. In faith, help me to trust that You will work even the negative things for good. In Jesus name, amen.


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Thanks so much!
May your day be filled with love and laughter!

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Photo chipmunk, Megan Zopf, pixabay
Photo giraffe, Daniel Burkett, pixabay
Photo pie, Preslie Hirsch, unsplash