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Beyond Blessed.

Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude, a day of feasting, and a day to count our blessings. Millions of Americans sit around tables and express gratitude for family, friends, and a roof over their heads. Four years ago, my youth pastor shared a story. I could not believe my ears. I know poverty was a prevalent issue; however, I didn't realize it occurred within my community. My eyes were open to the need around me. Here is the testimony my youth pastor shared:


When he was in high school, my youth pastor was so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving. He was thinking about all of the turkey, ham, stuffing, rolls, and pie he would eat. After his family feasted, he ran to his friend's house for a minute to play video games. He usually just walked in the door, greeting me with excitement. So, he walked in.


His friend's family seemed flustered. They quickly threw some cans into the trash. He glanced at one of the cans: a can of dog food. The family didn’t have a dog. The family could not afford a meal for Thanksgiving. He knew the family didn’t want him to know, so he carried on as if nothing happened. Inside, he was torn apart. He thought of how he indulged in a feast when a family could not afford normal food.


I am not telling this story to make you feel guilty for feasting on Thanksgiving. In the Bible, they celebrated by feasting! The Feast of the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of the First fruits, and the Feast of the Tabernacles are some examples. I hope you feast in remembrance of the Lord's blessings. However, do not forget to bless those in need.


Counting our blessings can go beyond Thanksgiving Day. When I implemented listing three specific blessings I am thankful for in my everyday life, my perspective shifted. Instead of writing basic things I am grateful for, I have started to make them specific. For example, I am thankful for seeing my sister on Thanksgiving, spending time with my family, and having a break from the rush of school, work, and all of my activities. Even on hard days, looking at what you are grateful for helps you push through it.


I know being thankful can be difficult. Some of you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Maybe you have been waiting for God for months, even years, and He has not answered in the way you would like. Some don’t understand why you are going through trials. Maybe you relate to the dog food testimony. I hope you will find the light even through the darkness.

If you have nothing, are discouraged, and feel alone, repeat Matthew 5:1-12:


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


You will be blessed beyond measure because of your trials. Your season of waiting will reap a harvest. If you feel as though others have stolen your joy, your peace, or your trust, you will be repaid seven times like Job. If you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, the good news is three days later, the Lord rolled away the boulder. Now, the weight can lift. He died for our sins, burdens, and shame, so we don’t have to carry it.


Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for our blessings. Thank you for

  1. Insert Specific Blessing

  2. Insert Specific Blessing

  3. Insert Specific Blessing

Thank you for trials, persecutions, and hardships for your sake. For when I am weak, you are strong. You will reap a harvest of blessing because of them. Thank you for taking the weight of the world off of my shoulders. I love you, Lord.

In your Name I pray,

Amen.




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Ecclesiastes 3:11

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