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How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving: Gratitude in Challenging Times

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2020 3:00 am

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving: Gratitude in Challenging Times

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 25, 2020 3:00 am

Some may find a day of thanksgiving more challenging this year. It’s been a year of trial and tension. It’s been one of uncertainty and unease. Some have suffered loss—great loss. But today, we’ll learn that thanksgiving springs from an attitude of obedience, it’s a choice to have a thankful attitude even in less than ideal circumstances.

Glad you’re along for A New Beginning today as Pastor Greg Laurie helps us exercise our gratitude muscles, given all the Lord has done for us.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, you want to hear from you. Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at greg@harvest.org again that's Greg harvest.org and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment. It's important to have an attitude of gratitude coming up today.

Pastor Greg Laurie points out, it's important that all times of the year are rejoicing on Thanksgiving day in ruling every day should not be based on what I have materially should be based on who I know I because possessions they come and go. Fred they come and go but God does not come in, go Jesus comes. Any statements in challenging year of trial tension. One of them certain on the sum of separate long grateful for today we learned that Thanksgiving springs from an attitude will be. It's a choice, thankful attitude even in less than ideal circumstances larger long beginning.

Pastor Greg Laurie helped us to exercise our gratitude muscles all the well. Tomorrow Thanksgiving got all of that Thanksgiving meal.

How many of you like the Thanksgiving meal you like, you know you don't really like it that everyone does it well, you know like you get out because that's on America so seriously. Of course you know it's your early celebrations of Thanksgiving were different than what they are today. I read that actually they would have eels as a part of their diet, which is pretty gross and I even read that they eat Eagles what's to mean things are good religious considering our bald Eagle. The significance of plays in our nation, and I emphasize the word ball because that's the important part of the Eagle to me but I don't know about you but I love stuffing I love mashed potatoes I like gravy on everything we Kathy my wife does a special thing.

The sweet potatoes and melted marshmallows on them yet to try that those are very good as well.

And of course turkey little cranberry little cranberries ice on the side because if it doesn't have the lines of the candidate still right to benefits a little bit fresh and then the turkey I prefer white meat. How many of you like white mean the turkey. How many of you like dark meat right out of you like the drumstick that's right but that's a big gnarly drumstick. You know that could be a weapon if necessary and I am getting here. There's only two drumsticks per turkey.

I heard about an industrious farmer I've told you this before but but you want to make more money. He said I gotta figure out how to produce it. Turkey with more than two legs, so it is experimentation in this laboratory actually came up with the turkey that had six legs so it said that's incredible how to dictate. She says I don't know I could never catch something quickly.

These are the jokes people I have but I don't have anything else for you but if you brought your Bible and I'm sure you did. I like you to turn in it to two passages. Psalm 100 and also were going to be looking at first Corinthians 11 and the title of my message is how to have a happy Thanksgiving how to have a happy Thanksgiving. So tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving and you know what's so great about this is it's a uniquely American holiday.

It doesn't commemorate a battle or anyone's birthday or anniversary it's a day literally set aside with the specific purpose of giving thanks to God Almighty don't bully with the revisionist tell you many of our founding fathers were very committed Christians. Not all of them, but many of them and even among those who were not strong in their faith in Christ. They believe the Bible was the word of God and the other respect for God and they understood that God gave us this great nation and so a day was set apart by our first president, George Washington, to give thanks to the Lord.

Now fast forward to today. We don't even know what to do with it now for many inches this thing that sort of in the middle of two big things we managed to monetize starting with following did you know that on Halloween. American spent $8.4 billion and average of $89 per person and of course a Christmas around $486 billion will be spent purchasing presence, etc. but Thanksgiving is sort of in between. I turn altogether different kind of bird, no pun intended, and for many, it's just that little thing that we get together and stop ourselves before we go shopping so we draw right because it's all about Black Friday now you see a lot more promotion for Black Friday than you do for Thanksgiving day back traditionally storages to be closed on Thanksgiving day. But now, many of them are open. We don't even call it Thanksgiving.

On many occasions, we simply call it turkey day, but I can tell you it's not a good day for turkeys at all, but what is Thanksgiving about Will originally as I said it was a day set aside to give glory to God, but for the Christian every day should be Thanksgiving, minus the turkey. Otherwise you get away a lot, but every day we should be giving thanks to the Lord.

We should have an attitude of gratitude and thanks. Studies have been done that have revealed that when you have an attitude of gratitude. Your help will be better and you will actually live longer study was done. The revealed people that gave more gratitude toward God, and gave thanks for what they had had less heart issues.

They have less aches and pains and it affected their outlook on life. Dr. Robert Emmons of USC medical schools" gratitude locks toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, regret, and depression, which can destroy our happiness." Interesting. So let's see now what the Bible says about Thanksgiving. I'm to be reading from Psalm 100 and it's identified actually as a Psalm of Thanksgiving, so read along with me shall, with joy, the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God.

He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and go into his courts with praise and give thanks to him and praise his name for the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever in his faithfulness continues to each generation powerful song. There's a lot there. Psalm 100 was originally given to the people of Israel were looking at them together they make a very long trek through the wilderness, ultimately arriving in the promised land. The Lord said to them when you enter into the promised land and settled down in your homes and you up plenty to eat.

Don't forget me because I let you out of the wilderness and brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey, and this can happen very easily to us as well.

You know when were in trouble when were facing crisis all week. Call on the name of the Lord, don't wait but when things are going reasonably well and the bills are paid and everybody's healthy way of food in our stomach we can start to forget about God's of the Lord's sake.

I want you to remember to give thanks to me they needed a reminder and we need a reminder to what we received communion together. That's a reminder that Jesus came to us he said drink of this job and either this bread. Why should we do it.

He said this do in remembrance of me.

We all need reminders on life. I reminder my finger right now. It's my wedding ring.

It reminds me I'm married.

There's also a woman that's been sleeping in my bed for decades to remind but apart from that I have this right another string does not come up not because it will basically I can't get it off.

I need the Jaws of life to get it off though because I gained weight since I put it on I can actually get it off. But you know and I don't really need a ring to remind me unmarried but it is something that is there is a little reminder and we might set an alarm to remind us to get up at a certain hour of the day. I will someone he remind me to do this or don't let me forget to do that.

So this is a reminder and who is this address diversified to all the earth and do all generation so this is not just addressed to Israel it's addressed to all people in the wall generations. It's the young people. It's too old people if two people in the middle it's all generations.

Mr. Greg Moore will have the second half of his message just a moment.

Hearing about listeners whose lives have been changed because of the radio ministry of a new beginning is so encouraging a new beginning name Pastor Greg and staff. I'm a proud mother of two and a fairly new born again Christian, I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years they have been sober for some time now. I thought they come close to the Lord that leaned last year, something happened to me, something I still to this day can't even put my finger on it except to say I was completely attacked by darkness. My world as I knew it, to turn upside down.

I felt completely alone and it felt like I had no one to turn to. Even now just thinking about it.

Tears flowed down my cheeks might not absolute determination to stay out of my own head in the negative thoughts that seem to be letting I turned on the radio and began listening to your program. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me through you. Your words were quenching thirst. I didn't even know I had sermon by sermon. I began to feel God's undying love for I really believe that you all played a huge role in saving my life and bringing me closer than I ever could have imagined to the Lord. I want to say thank you with all of my heart. I feel like you all are my family and I will forever have a place in my heart in my mind and on my radio show have these daily studies in God's word encouraged you one from Pastor Greg an email and let them know. Send it to great@harvest.org do it today while you're thinking about. Again, that's great@harvest.org. Looking at Psalm 100 today with pastor Greg Laurie as we consider the importance of Thanksgiving. I want you to notice something know about this song of praise, the message of giving thanks is given to us. Another word is said about being nothing is said about things in verse one, you find the word Lord verse two. Again you find the word Lord same with verses three and five.

So here's a take away point are rejoicing on Thanksgiving day and really every day should not be based on what I have materially it should be based on who I know. Again, this is not based on what I have. It's based on who I know why because possessions they come and go, friends. They come and go so it is time and in time.

Even your health fails, you but God does not come and go, Jesus comes in.

He states that I love what it says (Hebrews 13 five it says let your conduct be without greediness, be content with such things as you have, for he himself is said I will never leave you or forsake you.

Others can be so much pressure put on you right now to get the perfect gift for someone else. Several others are hoping someone else will get that perfect gift for you, but I bet you can even remember what you receive.

Last Christmas, but it was such a big deal.

Before that, on what so much of our focus on getting this thing and I will bring contentment or or that will bring me what I'm really seeking but God says don't let your life be without greediness, be content with what you have, for he himself is said I will never leave you or forsake you is like David wrote in Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want for the Lord is your shepherd. You shall not want it. If you're always wanting, wanting, wanting, I have to ask the question, is the Lord your shepherd so this is the focus now on what we should be doing this time of the year and there are five Thanksgiving come in five Thanksgiving come answers Thanksgiving command number one. Express your praise to God openly and loudly express your praise to God openly and loudly verse one shout to the Lord lets us do that together listlessly hallelujah on the count of three, 123 how I try to give it twice as loud. 123 that selling of the Lord that great. We rarely shout to the Lord will shout at RT will shout at the television set will shout at each other, but often do we shout to the Lord actually could be translated like a trumpet blast. The Bible tells us in Psalm 4710 shout to the Lord with the boys of Tryon so really what were told in the Bible to do is verbalize your praise to God, just as you want to express your love and affection to your husband or wife into your children and to your parents so you should direct your praise to God verbally because he wants to hear you say it out loud is it with.

Doesn't God know that I love him.

Yes he does, but were also told specifically in Scripture verbalize our prayers and our praise Hebrews 1315 says offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

That's important because there are times that I don't want to shout praise of the Lord. I might be more in the mood to shout out God. My complaints but I'm told to do this and sometimes it is a sacrifice to bring my praise to God, but I should do so anyway. And so that's Thanksgiving command number one Thanksgiving command number two is to serve the Lord with gladness serve the Lord with gladness. The good verse two. That's what it says serve the Lord with gladness every Christian is called to service. Sometimes I think we falsely think that there are certain people that are quote called to ministry." All their called to be a pastor that's their job holder called to be a missionary or that's what they do or their called to be a worship leader there called to hold a job over at the church will know that may be true but every Christian is called to serve God because God is given spiritual gifts to every believer were all uniquely blessed by the Lord with special talents and gifts.

There are natural talents and God gives us some people are naturally athletic. Some people are naturally clumsy Arctic accident-prone event. Some people are talented and they can perform music, they can play instruments.

Other people think they're talented and they can perform music but actually the cat that all summer artistic summer good crunching numbers. Some people thought of her big picture people. Others are small picture people but everybody has certain talents that God is given them. But then there are supernatural gifts that the Lord gives to us as well.

Spiritual gifts there. Call and where to find those gifts develop those gifts and use those gifts in the church of vertebrae in Romans 12 of verses 6 to 8 Paul writes his new contender with me if you want, but it says Paul writes in his grace, God is given us different gifts to do certain things well. So God is giving you the ability to prophesy. Then speak out with this much faith as God is given you. If your gift is serving others serve them well. If you're a teacher teach well if your gift is to encourage others well encouraging if it's giving and give generously, God is giving you leadership ability, then take that responsibility seriously and if you ever get for showing kindness to others do it gladly noticed that praise. Do it gladly do it with joy. You know some people make serving God.

Such a drag. I don't know why I love doing what I do. I love to study. I love to preach.

II love to encourage people.

This is a passion for my heart is not merely a job, though it happens to be that in some sense as well, but to me it's a privilege to serve God in any way that I can but some people take things that I think can be filled with joy and make them sort of a drudgery. You know I told you before I to imaginary characters.

One is named Bobby buzz kill and that he's married to Debbie downer and wherever they go. They just have a storm cloud brewing over them. So maybe you're sitting around the table having a good laugh and so Bobby buzz kill.

Since you don't really gotta be praying right now. Let's just pray what I did with Jeff to see it that way is just the way they deliver. A while ago I was over visiting our church in Maui went to a little restaurant I like their and they have a great burger so I went in and and I was standing around trying to decide what I would order a new I noticed someone ordered a hamburger. Some guy I walked up to him. I said that's good burgers and that meat is generally needed and he said yeah this was to blame. Are you Greg Laurie and I said yes. She said my husband isn't a Christian and if Jackie. He he really is misled and deceived and I wonder if you would just speak to him right now because just holding his burger. She was Debbie downer for sure. I actually felt sorry for the God you know what I did. I just got a pat on the shoulder and said, publishing men enjoy the burger and I walked away.

There's a time and a place for everything that lady did not set me up for success. Don't be that person. When you serve the Lord to a gladly don't do it as a mirror task or is drudgery. Oh, do I have to do I have to read the Bible. Joy really need to pray all to church again.

Did we do that last month so we going again.

That's not right know we serve the Lord, gladly the Christian faith is a happy faith because it's a hopeful way because we have hope in this life, and we hope for the afterlife.

We just had Randy Alcorn out last Sunday and he's just such a wonderful guy and he reminded us that God wants us to be happy and he reminded us that we serve and follow.

I happy God, and that is given to us many times in Scripture, and John 1511 Jesus said, I have told you these things to make you completely happy as I am happy. I love that because we don't think of Jesus as a happy God.

We think of him as sort of a sad God man of sorrows and acquainted with grief is Isaiah 53 says, but that was describing how Jesus felt when he was about to carry the cross to bear the sins of humanity, but he wasn't always a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was a smiling person, a joyful person I happy person happy pastor Greg Laurie with insights on the character of God. She presents the five Thanksgiving commands we see in Scripture and obviously we have three more to go, which will consider next time you're on a new beginning. But if you missed any part of a pastor Greg Broadus today.

You can catch up by listening online@harvest.org just look for the message called how to have a happy Thanksgiving or even have a CD sent your way by calling 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Don't miss out on this good insight and then were so happy to make available a new resource from Sally Lloyd Jones called the Jesus story book Bible. A Christmas collection and you know Pastor Greg and I'm looking at Sally's thoughts for each day of Advent and on December 4 I see the title for that day is a new beginning.

Where have I heard that before.

I don't know you could leave in the radio show good program for like it though you think that's a little self-serving that I have and how they lead him to the left that in the beginning where were glad that Sally Lloyd Jones, the author of the Jesus story book Bible in this new a wonderful resource for offering called the Jesus story book Bible Christmas collection is with this in studio so Sally in this time of year when everything's changed because of the coronavirus. I think it's more important than ever to return to the real essential message of Christmas which there's many things we could say but very important part of the messages that were not alone in this world and that God is with that you should call his name Immanuel, which means God is with us. How could this resource hunk of this book reading this to our children. Help them to understand that maybe in a new way, or maybe in a way they've never understood before but I think tracing God's beautiful redemptive rescue plan from the very beginning which is what you basically to threat Advent starting with creation. The full all the way through to the rest skipping bone I think it will help them.

My prayer is that it will help them now in this time when they feel a lion and who knows how children are ready processing this.

You know they they may. Children tend to think it's that full to everything. So who knows what on what level but the Lord knows, and he can speak to them.

So my prayer is we we provide the resources we tell them the story and that God would use whatever he can to reach that little hearts to let them know he visited this planet for them. He says he's so delighted in them that he would move heaven and asked just to be net them.

I think if they know that that God loves them that much that he would he would do everything to be close to them. I think it will give them strength send a rock to get through this time.

Absolutely. So if you want to have a copy of this to read to your children, your grandchildren and bring them that assurance and comfort in this Christmas season. Then order your copy of the Jesus story book Bible.

A Christmas collection of stories, songs and reflections for the Advent season written by our guest Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Jago, narrated by the outstanding actor David Touchet you're gonna love this. Yeah, that's right, and will be happy to send this your way to thank you for your investment in making these daily studies possible.

It's such an important time to bring God's word into the homes and hearts of listeners all across the country and even around the world and your investment helps us do that one listener commented. I turned on your message to call my anxiety this week.

Thank you for your godly wisdom and for focusing my life back on the prize of God, you have calm the anxiety and my soul will thanks for helping us bring the peace that passes understanding in these difficult times.

And when you send your investment today will be glad to thank you with the Jesus story book Bible Christmas collection.

Upon request, and today is our last opportunity to mention this resource to contact us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call around-the-clock 20 4/7 at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time.

As mentioned pastor Greg returns to complete the five Thanksgiving commands from the Bible.

Hope you'll join us next on your other new beginning with pastor Greg Laurie possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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