Thanksgiving 2015 will go down in my list of special yet low-key evenings spent with friends. We began the evening by each person saying a short prayer of thanks for something each one was grateful for. Our thanks ranged from friends and family to forgiveness grace and hope—a precious reminder that each one of us—young and old—has so much to be thankful for.

It’s easy to forget if we focus too much on what is happening around us. I’m not saying we should not be aware of the suffering and injustice around us. We need to be aware. More than that, we need to be praying and asking God how we can be part of bringing light into the great darkness that seems to be descending on the whole world. Yet, if we do that without remembering to be grateful and to appreciate God’s good gifts, where are we?

There are those of us who know abundant supply of material goods. Should we feel guilty? I confess, I struggle with that. It’s as though I am giving myself credit for that abundance. How ridiculous. EVERYTHING I have is a gift from my heavenly Father who gives GOOD gifts to His children!

There are those of us who know abundant spiritual supply of joy and peace. Should we feel guilty? I confess, I struggle with that too. It’s as though I am giving myself credit for the health of spirit and soul I have been given. It is GOD through His spirit who has granted me that peace and joy.

No we have nothing to boast about, but we have nothing to feel guilty about either. I think the evil one wants to attack us with this false sense of guilt so that lose sight of just how much we have been blessed.

Maybe this doesn’t speak to you, but as we move forward from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season, may those of us who struggle with false guilt throw it aside and rejoice—our redemption draws near! Our God has saved us and had mercy on us and met our needs so that we can take these same blessings and extend them to others.

So as you and I intercede for this very needy world, let’s not forget to also give thanks for God’s ongoing grace showered out on the just and unjust alike, His abundant supply and provision of friends, family, a roof over our heads, the simple pleasures of life to enjoy and share, and for the great salvation preserved in heaven for us through our wonderful savior Jesus our Lord.

Joyous Thanksgiving—now and every day!