Thanksgiving is much more than just a holiday — or a verbal expression. Thanksgiving, according to scripture, is a lifestyle — and is to be a constant, especially in the hearts of believers.

Genuine thanksgiving involves thanking God with our whole hearts (Psalm 9:1) Genuine thanksgiving involves the proper reason we thank God — and that is, because he is good — his mercy endures forever (Psalm 118:1) God’s people have the most reason of all for a spirit of thanksgiving; “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” Romans 6:17.

We can be thankful because sin, guilt, and death are completely erased - which is a blessed gift from God the Father through Jesus Christ. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57.

Here is something the world cannot understand — the believer can maintain that spirit of thanksgiving even when circumstances fail to call for it. “Wherein, ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptation; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

Even in turbulence, trials, and pain, believers in Christ can maintain that spirit of thanksgiving. No, we are not thankful that we received a frightful verdict from the doctor, or that we have lost everything we own in a fire - or that we lost a precious loved one in death. But Christ enables us to maintain a thankful spirit — a contented spirit — a hopeful spirit in the midst of such.

I stand today one blessed, thankful person. God has blessed me far beyond measure, or beyond anything I ever dreamed possible. He has allowed me to be born into a family with a wonderful heritage; He has placed me in the greatest country in history; He has given me a wonderful church (First Baptist of Palmer) in which to serve; He has filled my quiver with blessed children and grandchildren and placed in my path, a helpmeet who has not only been used to help in ministry, but to literally keep my life much more on an even keel than it otherwise would have; He has called me — who is the least worthy or humanly qualified, to preach His gospel; He has supplied every need — perhaps not every desire - but even in His denying some desires, was a demonstration of His mercy and protection.

I am thankful God permitted my family and me to move to the Gingerbread City 32 years ago. What a blessed place to raise our kids and to make enduring, life-long friends.

But most of all, He has redeemed me by the blood of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”