Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
For quite some time now, I have pondered why it is that Thankfulness is not one of the Fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Even so, we find that thankfulness is a major theme throughout God’s Word. The first official ceremony of Thanksgiving in the Bible is listed in Leviticus 7:11-15. “These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the Lord. 12 If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast—thin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil. 13 This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast. 14 One of each kind of bread must be presented as a gift to the Lord. It will then belong to the priest who splatters the blood of the peace offering against the altar. 15 The meat of the peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the same day it is offered. None of it may be saved for the next morning. ” I don’t think it is a coincidence that God ordained a practice of specific instructions to show thankfulness or that it is related to the Peace offering. Clearly, giving thanks is the door that opens peace in our hearts. Just a thought, perhaps Thankfulness is the branches upon which Peace and the other fruit of the Spirit hang. Throughout the Bible, giving thanks is the way to peace because when we are truly thankful to God, we are expressing our trust in Him. This Thanksgiving, may we be mindful of the many blessings we have received. I leave you with one of David’s amazing Prayers of Thanksgiving in 1 Chronicles 16: 7-36. Shalom! LH
7 On the same day, for the first time, David ordered Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord
8 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make his deeds known to all people!
9 Sing to God, sing praises to him; dwell on all his wondrous works!
10 Give praise to God’s holy name! Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
11 Pursue the Lord and his strength; seek his face always!
12 Remember the wondrous works he has done, all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—
13you who are the offspring of Israel, his servant, and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 The Lord—he is our God. His justice is everywhere throughout the whole world.
15 God remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded to a thousand generations,
16which he made with Abraham, the solemn pledge he swore to Isaac.
17God set it up as binding law for Jacob, as an eternal covenant for Israel,
18promising, “I hereby give you the land of Canaan as your allotted inheritance.”
19 When they were few in number—insignificant, just immigrants—
20wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to the next,
21God didn’t let anyone oppress them. God punished kings for their sake:
22 “Don’t touch my anointed ones; don’t harm my prophets!”
23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Share the news of his saving work every single day!
24 Declare God’s glory among the nations; declare his wondrous works among all people
25because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise. He is awesome beyond all other gods
26because all the gods of the nations are just idols, but it is the Lord who created heaven!
27 Greatness and grandeur are in front of him; strength and joy are in his place.
28 Give to the Lord, all families of the nations—give to the Lord glory and power!
29Give to the Lord the glory due his name! Bring gifts! Enter his presence! Bow down to the Lord in his holy splendor!
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! Yes, he set the world firmly in place; it won’t be shaken.
31 Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice! Let the nations say, “The Lord rules!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it roar! Let the countryside and everything in it celebrate!
33 Then the trees of the forest will shout out joyfully before the Lord, because he is coming to establish justice on earth!
34 Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his faithful love endures forever.
35 Say: “Save us, God, our savior! Gather us! Deliver us from among the nations so we can give thanks to your holy name and rejoice in your praise.”
36 Bless the Lord, Israel’s God, from forever in the past to forever always. And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!