What do you think of when you hear the word “Thanksgiving”? Does your brow furrow as you imagine all the work you have to do? Do your cheeks hurt from grinning in excitement for the relatives you’ll get to see? Maybe you’re indifferent. Here are several tips we’ve put together to make your Thanksgiving holiday enjoyable, and not just another Thursday night dinner or a secular holiday (God promises more than just good feelings in our walk with him–he promises an abundant life!) and some inspirational verses to go with them!
If you’re cooking, have a plan for your meal. Without planning, prepping the turkey and sides can be stressful! And you CAN ask for help! If you have a hard time doing so, remember that many people love to lend a hand–you simply need to ask! Figure out how many hours you need to roast the turkey for, get your spouse and/or guests to help with mashing the potatoes, and leave some wiggle room in case you forget something!
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. -Proverbs 16:3
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. -Proverbs 15:22
But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands. -Isaiah 32:8
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:31-35
Not only do these add a charming and personal touch to your place settings, but you can also leave a note for each person on the back telling them why you’re thankful for them!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:11Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:18
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! -Psalm 95:2
What separates Christians from those that do not have Jesus is that God loved us first so that we could love others. Spend some time in the morning at a homeless shelter, foodbank, soup kitchen or simply help a friend/neighbor out with their thanksgiving dinner preparation. Share Christ in you with others!
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. -1 John 3:16-18Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. -Romans 12:13
” ‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. -Leviticus 25:35
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. -1 Chronicles 29:13-14
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. -Psalm 112:5
Instead of having just one person pray a blessing over the Thanksgiving dinner, take turns to give thanks to God. Not only will this teach and encourage the little ones in the family to pray to their Heavenly Father, but you’ll also learn what is important to one another. Now is a chance to teach your children that their prayers are just as important to God as yours.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 5:16-18
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. -Mark 10:13-14
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. -Proverbs 119:130
5. Pick a Black Friday alternative
Black Friday is starting earlier and earlier. Ironically, the season that follows the day of Thanksgiving is one of commercialism and busyness. Black Friday itself is not an evil of the world, but so many people are injured physically and emotionally on this day. At the root of the desperation and fervor of Black Friday is a lack of peace, a burden of insecurity, and a need for true acceptance and love. How about extending the Thanksgiving spirit and serving others on Friday? Instead of bearing the shoving and pushing towards cashier lines, go out to the shopping center and hand out hot cocoa or cider. Pray for people and listen to their stories and hurts. Share your faith and testimony. You will be ministering to people who may not even realize what they need.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. -2 Corinthians 1:4
Did these verses encourage you? Want more promises or encouragements straight from the Word of God? Get Rose Publishing’s Bible Promises for Hope and Courage pamphlet to get filled up with Scripture and know God in a personal and practical way.