A Thankful Heart

A Thankful Heart

What is thankfulness?

Thankfulness is being conscious of benefits we’ve received; expressive of thanks; well pleased – glad. These are all examples of the dictionary definitions of thankfulness. Thanksgiving—the giving of thanks—to our God for all His blessings. This should be one of the most distinctive marks of the followers of Christ. We must remind ourselves to not let ingratitude harden our hearts or our relationship with God and with others.

How do we express our thankfulness with our traditions?

It is that time of year again where we often reflect on what we are thankful for. It is the end of the harvest season, and we are coming into the “most wonderful time of the year.” All over the world there are different ways and traditions of this celebration of gratitude. Here in Northern Ireland we celebrate with Harvest services held at our churches. In the US and Canada Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday.

Even in countries like Uganda, thankfulness is celebrated in a unique and special way! There the land is rich and fertile and it is a tradition for churches to be left undecorated at the start of their harvest service,

What are we thankful for?

We know God values, appreciates, and even commands our praise. Thankfulness is not just a ‘nice thing to do’ but a commandment for followers of Christ. So, how can we express our thankfulness? Sometimes we forget why we are thankful, and who we are thankful to. As Christians, we believe that as God is our heavenly Father, the Creator of heaven and earth, and therefore we should thank Him for everything. It is not some nameless spirit, but it is God, the almighty Creator; our Saviour and King whom we are thanking.

We never seem to be satisfied with what we have. Whether we are rich or poor, young or old, there always seems to be something more that we want. God blesses us with material things in life so we can bless others too. When we remember everything that we have has been given to us by God, it changes our perspective! We read about King David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:12-14, “Wealth and honour come from you… We give you thanks, and praise your glorious name… Everything comes from you.” It is important not to let the material things in life hinder our walk with the Lord.

Our family, friends, co-workers and others we know are a big part of our lives, but we can often take them for granted. We must remember not to remind ourselves of the negative things they have done, rather how thankful we are to have them in our lives.  The model we see portrayed in the Bible encourages us to extend forgiveness, to love our enemies and to extend hospitality to strangers.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

How are we thankful at New Beginnings?

At New Beginnings, we strive to give God glory in everything we do. Even though we offer important things like healthy meals, education, clothing, care and protection, the most valuable thing that we can offer the children is the opportunity to learn about our Saviour Jesus Christ, and encourage them to make Him the Lord of their lives. Our sponsors make it possible for us to share this good news!! Your support is vital, and we are thankful for you – the children are thankful for you! Anyone who has ever been out to New Beginnings can tell you how much the children love their sponsors! They tell us that they are continually praying for us. What a humbling thought this is.

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 1:4

At New Beginnings we are thankful for many things. We are thankful for Uncle Roger, for all of our Uncles and Aunties, our school, farm, children, sponsors and many many other things, but most of all we are thankful for Jesus Christ and what He has done in our lives and the lives of many in Uganda too.

What are you thankful for?

Maybe this post has encouraged you to be extra thankful today. We hope you take some time today and reflect on what God has done in your life. To be thankful and remind yourself of what this truly means. Thank you for your support to New Beginnings! Or as they say in Uganda: Weebale Nnyo!

“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Psalm 107:8-9

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