Summary: THANKSGIVING – Your Heart Condition Thanksgiving is much more than a holiday celebration; it is more heart condition! It is more than a celebration of food; it is the celebration of faith!
THANKSGIVING – Your Heart Condition
• Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Thanksgiving is much more than a holiday celebration; it is more heart condition! It is more than a celebration of food; it is the celebration of faith!
Satan does not want our heart to be free to thank God for His blessings; he wants us to have a heart attack! Satan doesn’t want you to have a celebration of faith but collated arteries of fear and worry.
Our lives are filled with WORRY. The English word for “WORRY” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word which means “to strangle.” This is an apt description of the emotional pain we feel when we worry. What is strangled is our peace of mind. There is a way however to recapture peace of mind (and heart and soul!) even in the midst of trials and tribulations, it involves a process of correct thinking which will lead to correct living.
We need to learn to think differently if we are to act differently! We can do this by learning to take every thought into captivity. We can think differently as we develop an awareness of God’s presence in our lives and depend fully upon God and His strength to empower us to defend our hearts from worry fear and anything else Satan may want to use to turn our thoughts sour.
Here’s how one guy changed the focus of his prayer for Thanksgiving…
ILLUSTRATION: This Thanksgiving I’m thankful ... That there aren’t twice as many Congressman and half as many doctors. That grass doesn’t grow through snow, necessitating winter mowing as well as shoveling. That there are only twenty-four hours available each day for TV programming. That civil servants aren’t less civil. That teenagers ultimately will have children who will become teenagers. That I’m not a turkey. That houses still cost more than cars. That the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited. That liberated women whose husbands take them for granted don’t all scream at the same time. That snow covers the unraked leaves. That hugs and kisses don’t add weight or cause cancer. That record players and radios and TV sets and washers and mixers and lights can be turned off. That no one can turn off the moon and stars. -- Christianity Today (Nov. 17, 1978), cited in the Pastor’s Story File, November 1991.
As believers thanksgiving should not be reserved for one day a year; for that matter we also shouldn’t withhold our thanksgiving for “Sundays only.” We should live a lifestyle of thanksgiving.
• Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
This is not Paul suggestion for the day! He wants us to live a joy filled life; a life so full of the joy of the Lord that is splashes out and touches those around us.
Often Paul’s comments here are misunderstood in the same way people have misunderstand James; how are we supposed to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds?” (James 1:2)
Is it possible for anyone to count it “pure joy in trials” or “rejoice always?” Surely this is an impossible request in light of all the bad things in life!
However it is NOT pure joy FOR the trials but for the fruit that comes from them as we submit to the work God is doing in our lives. Likewise, it is NOT “rejoice IN EVERYTHING,” but “REJOICE IN THE LORD … always!”
We don’t rejoice IN the positive things or even rejoice IN SPITE of the negative things, it is that we “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS.” Since the Lord is the constant in a changing universe our rejoicing can also be constant because He never changes.
We lose our focus way too much and think about the wrong things! As Christians we should not give into worry and fear because the Lord is with us. If that’s not a good enough reason for you then the fact remains that most of the things we worry about anyway rarely come to pass!