We have a lot to think about Thanksgiving Day as we gather around the table with our loved ones. The past couple of years brought difficult challenges into our world, challenges we didn’t always know if we could handle. During the worldwide pandemic, we all faced immense change.

Lockdowns are over, and we have been liberated in many ways. But when they ended, many of us thought that there would be a flood of cheerful people rejoicing at freedom. Yet a lot of us experienced a different reaction.

We are exhausted, at a loss, and maybe a bit scared. Of course we are!

Although the pandemic is less of an imminent threat, it still looms in our minds and memories. And if it’s not the pandemic itself that’s making us feel unsteady, it’s the new jobs (or lack thereof), the new rules, the new mindsets, or the loss of loved ones.

We are all mourning the old parts of our lives that are gone, even if some changes have been good.

As we look at this past year, we might struggle to bring a thankful heart to the table this Thanksgiving. How can we be grateful when all we are is tired?

In 2 Corinthians 12, Jesus tells us that He is empowered when we are weak. He is magnified when we are minimized. As Christians, we can choose to be like Paul, who made this statement:

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The truth is, when we have the perspective that Christ Jesus is our strength, we have a lot to rejoice in.

This Thanksgiving let’s look at five worship songs that remind us of all we are grateful for this year. These things can never be taken from us, and they are where our true strength lies.

1. “Goodness of God” by Jenn Johnson

Let’s start with the basics. God provides for our every need. The Bible tells us that He even provides for the sparrow (Luke 12:6–7). Jenn Johnson sings of this provision in her song, “Goodness of God.” Each lyric weaves a picture of God’s blessings that fills our souls with peace:

All my days 
I’ve been held in Your hands 
From the moment that I wake up 
Until I lay my head 
I will sing of the goodness of God (Jenn Johnson, “Goodness of God”)

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re surrounded by rich, tasty food or you’re just praying for the means to have a meal at all, God is holding you. We all need this soft reminder of the simple things in our lives that really matter, and so Jenn Johnson sings her chorus:

All my life You have been faithful 
All my life You have been so, so good 
With every breath that I am able 
I will sing of the goodness of God (Jenn Johnson, “Goodness of God”)

2. “All The People Said Amen” by Matt Maher

We can be deeply thankful for our community. One of the greatest joys of our Christian community is that we have brothers and sisters around the entire globe.

So even if you’re spending Thanksgiving alone this year, remind yourself that there is a church family embracing you in prayer. As Paul said to the church in Colossae, “For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit …” (Colossians 2:5).

Matt Maher sings joyously of the church, and a choir reinforces his words:

Rich or poor it doesn’t matter 
Weak or strong, you know love is what we’re after 
We’re all broken but we’re all in this together 
God knows we stumble and fall 
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all (Matt Maher, “All The People Said Amen”)

So, this Thanksgiving, you can have a heart full of thankfulness for the community all around you. No matter how alone you feel, you are not alone at all. As the song says, “we are all in this together.”

3. “Burn the Ships” by for KING & COUNTRY

Next on our list of gratitude is freedom, as for King and Country so beautifully reminds us in their song “Burn the Ships”:

Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon the heartache, yeah
So light a match
Leave the past
Burn the ships
And don’t ya look back (for KING & COUNTRY, “Burn the Ships”)

This awesome wonder of freedom is found in Christ alone. Not in the world’s governments, not in possessions, not even in a pain-free life (Psalm 146:3–5). This freedom is found through the salvation we have in Jesus Christ.

This Thanksgiving, as you think about your life, remember the moments when God entered your life with His amazing grace and set you free. The joy of freedom is something that never gets old:

We’re coming clean 
We’re born again 
Our hopeful lungs 
Can breathe again 
Oh we can breathe again (for KING & COUNTRY, “Burn the Ships”)

4. “My Jesus” by Anne Wilson

It’s only natural now to talk about the One who sets us free, as Anne Wilson reminds us in her song “My Jesus”:

He makes a way where there ain’t no way 
Rises up from an empty grave 
Ain’t no sinner that He can’t save 
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus 
His love is strong and His grace is free 
And the good news is I know that He 
Can do for you what He’s done for me 
Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus (Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”)

As you prepare the turkey this year and look over your life, see how Jesus has been present through it all.

He sets you free in every aspect of the word, and no matter how tough a situation may seem, you will always have Jesus walking alongside you (Matthew 28:18–20). That is something to be truly grateful for.

5. “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman

Last but not least, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman is the epitome of thankfulness. As you listen to this hymn, let it prompt you to remember all that God has done for you. But don’t stop there.

This song also reminds us of the eternity we will spend with God:

And on that day 
When my strength is failing 
The end draws near 
And my time has come 
Still my soul will 
Sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years 
And then forevermore (Matt Redman, “10,000 Reasons”)

This is what we all have to look forward to. Someday, the Bible tells us that we will be in a place where there are no tears and no sorrow (Revelation 21:3). We will be healed and made whole with God Himself.

At His great table we will have a feast even greater than any Thanksgiving feast we can imagine (Revelation 19:9). We will sing a hymn forever of the Lord’s goodness and His love.

So as you gather with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, think about the day you will gather with your brothers and sisters of every tribe and nation and tongue (Revelation 7:9). It will be more beautiful than you can fathom.

This Thanksgiving, as you listen to the songs at KGBI, may God fill you with an extra dose of gratitude. These Christian songs bring us reminders of joy and hope. We hope that this Thanksgiving you will tune in and join us in giving thanks for the things that last forever.

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