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Zeigler: A lifestyle of Thanksgiving

Settlers in Massachusetts held the first Thanksgiving celebration in the New World in 1621. George Washington issued a proclamation creating the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government in 1789. On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father” to be celebrated on the fourth Thanksgiving in November, and the official holiday of Thanksgiving began.

Hopefully for Christians, Thanksgiving is much more than a day of celebration. It is a lifestyle, a way of life. We are told in I Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Is this even possible? Yes. Is it easy? Not always.

When we give thanks, we acknowledge the goodness of God. We recognize that our joy comes from the Lord, not our circumstances. By giving thanks, we focus on what we have rather than what we wish we had. Our hearts experience joy, and real thanksgiving happens.

During this season of Thanksgiving, I hope that you will thank God for His provision and His plans for you even when you do not understand all your circumstances. As you count your blessings, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace.

Jim Zeigler has been Alabama State Auditor since January 2015.

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