Did you hear the one about the Thanksgiving poet? He wrote a poem about Thanksgiving that went like this:

May your stuffing be tasty.

May you turkey be plump,

May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious,

and you pies take the prize,

and may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.

I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and among the gatherings, football and food, you actually took some time to be thankful. No matter where you are in life or what has happened in your life, you have much to be thankful for.

Being thankful is not dependent upon everything being “perfect” in your life. It’s not based on your circumstances or surroundings. Being thankful is simply a decision you make every day, regardless of what may happen in and around you.

It takes very little to fuss and complain about all the ills going on in our lives and the world today. Someone once said it like this, “any dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim against the current.” Being thankful is often going against the current as it’s often much easier to find fault, criticize, complain and place blame.

Living a life of thanksgiving will require some effort on your part. This is especially true when you don’t “feel like it.” What many fail to realize is that being thankful is an important key to changing the circumstances and situation you may be facing.

Psalm 100:4-5 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Notice here that thanksgiving is the key to unlocking God’s presence and provision in our lives.

We see this truth throughout the pages of scripture. My favorite example is found in Acts 16 where Paul and Silas are mistreated after helping a slave girl. They are falsely accused, beaten, and thrown in prison. If anyone had a legitimate right to complain, it would be Paul and Silas. Yet that’s not what they did. Instead, the Bible says, they prayed and sang praises to God.

Based on the context I doubt their prayers were along the lines of, “Oh God, why did you allow this to happen to us? Don’t you understand how unjust this is?” They didn’t use prayer as a means to complain to God about how unfair life is.

Instead, when they encountered problems, they used their time to be thankful, not to complain. They were not giving thanks “for” the problems (because God was not the one who caused the problem) but “in” the problem they made a decision to be thankful.

God moved in response to their thanksgiving and delivered them a “get out of jail free” card. God is the same today, He moves in response to faith and thanksgiving. So, no matter what the problem is, or your personality type, swim against the current and give thanks today.