Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, - Psalms 100:4a (NKJV)
It was the day after Thanksgiving and Helen and Daisy were heading out together to do some early Christmas shopping. Hoping to get to the mall before the long lines formed, they left at 4:30 in the morning but they soon found they weren’t alone. As they pulled into the mall parking lot they found it already full.
After driving around the parking lot ten times, they finally found a spot to park and headed into the stores. Once inside, they found themselves standing in long lines no matter where they went. As they stood in the line at the shoe store Daisy happened to ask Helen how her Thanksgiving went.
“Horrible!” Helen told her, “I had my daughter’s family over for Thanksgiving.” “It couldn’t have been that bad could it?” Daisy asked as their line moved forward a couple of feet. “Isn’t Thanksgiving a day to spend in a spirit of thanksgiving, especially to God?” Helen asked in return “It’s suppose to be.” Daisy replied
“That’s what I thought,”Helen told her, “But the only thanks I heard all day was a short prayer before we ate. I thought Psalms 100:4 says to Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, (NKJV)” “No one was thankful?” Daisy said in shock “You’re kidding aren’t you?”
“I wish I was.” Helen complained, “All Robert and Bill did all day was sit in front of the big screen TV watching football and yelling at the referees. Instead of helping me in the kitchen, Martha just stood in my way and complained about Harold and Stella. And as for those two grand kids of mine, I should have taken them out back with a whip.”
“On Thanksgiving!” Daisy said with a gasp. “All those two kids did in the morning was fight and argue about which parade to watch.” Helen continued, “Stella even broke one of my good plates on Harold’s head. At lunch Harold turned into a pig spilling lots of food and gulping down everything in sight. I didn’t think anybody could eat that much and still be hungry. At least Harold didn’t leave any leftovers”
“I guess you’re right.” Daisy told Helen, “Your Thanksgiving was horrible. How about you? How thankful were you yesterday?” “Me?” Helen replied “What was there to be thankful for? Besides, I was too busy in the kitchen.” “Sounds like you had more of an Un-Thanksgiving to me.” replied Daisy as their line moved forward two more feet.
What was your Thanksgiving like? Was it anything like the Helen had with her family? More often than not we are guilty of having a Thanksgiving much like theirs. Thankfully we have many examples of thankfulness in the Bible that we can turn to for encouragement like the story of Belteshazzar.
Who was Belteshazzar? Belteshazzar was a young man who had it all and nothing. More than once he found his life on the line while living in a foreign country where he was loved and despised.
As a young man he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and brought to his court where he was trained up to serve the king. One may wonder if he had any reason to be thankful especially when we find that he was to be executed along with his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah and many others
You see, the king had, had a very bad dream and it scared him. He wanted to know what the dream meant but he couldn't remember what the dream even was. He called for the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to come and tell him what his dream was and what it meant but none of them could do it. This angered the king and he issued the execution of all the wise men which included Belteshazzar.
Upon learning that he was to be executed Belteshazzar also known as Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. Daniel was given the dream and its meaning and Daniel responded with these words.
"Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king's matter.”
We don't need to wait until Thanksgiving day to be thankful. We don't need to wait until we go through situations like Daniel went through to be thankful. We can be thankful 100% of the time
- Deuteronomy 8:10 - When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. (NIV)
- Psalms 100:4 - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (NKJV)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (HCSB) – This verse is the theme of one of my other blogs called Everyday Thankfulness
In Luke 17:11-19 we read of the cleansing of the ten lepers and how only one – a foreigner – came back, bowed down at Jesus' feet and thanked Him. Let's not be the other like the other nine.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Were you truly thankful on Thanksgiving?
- Do you find ways to be thankful everyday?