While we often consider Christmas to be a holiday that focuses on the miraculous, it’s important to understand that Thanksgiving is closely tied to the miraculous. In fact, there are countless examples in Scripture of God’s people giving thanks and miracles taking place in their lives. Today, as we approach Thanksgiving Day, spend some time thinking about the miracles that you need to see in your life. When you recognize that there is a connection between thanksgiving and miracles, you can fully embrace the miracles of this holiday.
Psalm 100:4-5 (MSG)
Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.
When you hear the term “Thanksgiving,” you probably think about the holiday that we’re about to celebrate. Perhaps your mind is filled with images of plates of food, football on the television, and a houseful of family and friends who are there to celebrate the day with you. There is certainly nothing wrong with those types of celebrations of Thanksgiving. God wants us to set aside time to thank Him for all the good things in our lives, and He loves when we spend time in unity with others.
However, the concept of Thanksgiving predates the earliest celebrations that we consider traditional Thanksgiving observances. History teaches us that the first Thanksgiving celebration that was similar to the way that we observe the holiday took place in 1621. Thousands of years before the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians ever gathered at Plymouth Rock, God was laying the foundation for what Thanksgiving was truly all about.
When you look at the passage that we just read, you find that giving thanks is a password, a key of sorts. That means that this season of Thanksgiving can be about more than turkey, pumpkin pie, leftovers, and football. Instead, this can be a season in which you poise yourself to receive something incredible from God.
Do you have something in your life that you’re asking God to do on your behalf? If we’re being honest, all of us have something that we can’t tackle on our own. With that in mind, thanksgiving (the action) can be the key to unlocking the miraculous. Since we’re already focused on giving thanks during this time of year, spend some extra time focusing on God’s goodness. Doing so is your password!
Thanksgiving Produces the Miracle of Multiplication
Matthew 14:18-21 (NLT)
Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the brad to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
The miracle of Christ feeding the 5,000 is the only miracle that God had recorded in all four Gospel accounts. While each of the four Gospel authors brought out some different details, each of them was moved by the Holy Spirit to record this miracle.
The crowds had been following Jesus all day, and He knew that they were getting hungry. Moreover, the disciples knew they were getting hungry. With more than 5,000 people, the disciples encouraged Jesus to send the people back home so they could eat.
Can you imagine what the disciples were thinking when Jesus told them that they were going to feed the crowd? The disciples were not wealthy men by any means. Even if they had brought a few food items with them for the day, they didn’t see any way to feed a crowd of this size.
Before Jesus started passing out the food, He thanked God for what He had. We would do well to do the same. Jesus wasn’t concerned about running out because He knew that God was able to multiply what was there. Before God multiplied the food that they had access to, Jesus thanked Him for it.
Are you lacking in an area of your life? If so, you need God’s miraculous multiplying power to become active in your life. While it’s easy to assume that we can’t thank God for multiplication until we have enough of what we’re lacking, that’s not how God works. Instead of waiting until you have more to be thankful, be thankful for what you have. Once you have done that, you will see God turn your lack into a surplus, just like He did for the disciples.
Thanksgiving Produces Resurrection Power
John 11:4-7 (NLT)
But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this. So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, let’s go back to Judea.”
John 11:41-42 (NLT)
So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”
Lazarus, a close, personal friend of Christ, was dying. His health was deteriorating fast, so his sisters, Mary and Martha sent word to Christ. While they expected Jesus to jump up and come straight to them, He stayed where He was at for two additional days. However, His decision to wait wasn’t a form of punishment. He had already told the disciples how the story was going to end. “This sickness will not end in death.”
If Lazarus was dead, the story wasn’t over. Unfortunately, Mary and Martha didn’t hear that part of the conversation. When Lazarus died, they assumed the story was over. Jesus knew it wasn’t.
Before He called Lazarus out of the grave, He gave thanks. Doesn’t that seem counterproductive? Someone was dead, and Jesus was thanking the Father for hearing Him. He explained his reasoning when He said, “I’m saying this out loud for the sake of these people standing here.”
Is there something in your life that appears dead? If so, thank God for His faithfulness and wait for His resurrection power. Your Thanksgiving is the key to the resurrection power of God working in your life. Dead relationships, hopes, dreams, and more can be resurrected when we thank God.
Thanksgiving Produces Peace
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Finally, there is a direct correlation between the amount of Thanksgiving that goes out of us and the amount of peace that flows into us. This inverse correlation is the result of God’s promise that He inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3).
When God’s presence is more prevalent in our lives, peace is a natural byproduct. However, that presence only comes about when we commit ourselves to thanksgiving over worry. When we focus more on the things that we have to be thankful for, it causes us to spend less time focusing on what’s going wrong. When our focus is on the things of God, we can fully embrace peace.
The peace of God that transcends human understanding is miraculous. Not only is it unexplainable, but it also guards our hearts and our minds This protection is miraculous, and it is the result of thanksgiving.
Don’t allow Thanksgiving to just be a day that you observe once a year. Instead, live in a perpetual state of thanksgiving so you can fully experience the miracles of God in your life.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of the miraculous in my life. Help me to be more thankful so that I can fully experience everything that You have for me. I know that You can bring dead things back to life. You can protect me with Your peace. You can multiply what I have. In Christ’s name, Amen.