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Jentezen Franklin: Thanksgiving is a spirit, not a spurt
Jentezen Franklin

Movie star George Burns was 97 years old when he was asked, “What’s the most exciting part of your day?”

He said, “When I open up my eyes! When you’re 97, and you open up your eyes another day, that is the most exciting part of your day!”

Burns was thankful every day. And now it is the season for giving thanks to God for the many blessings we have.

How do we thank him? How do we show him how much we appreciate all he has done for us?

Psalm 100 tells us to be thankful unto him and to bless his name.

Colossians 3:15 says “Be ye thankful.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in everything we are to give thanks.

That means in heartache, in reversal, or on the worst day of your life, you are to give thanks to God because he is good. No matter what’s going on, he is good.

You can mope and complain your whole life, and some do. But you have a choice. You can enjoy the journey if you realize Thanksgiving is not a spurt, it’s a spirit. It’s a spirit that has to come over us, filling us with thankfulness to God for his goodness in our life.

We need to understand you can get through anything if you have the wings of thanksgiving.

There’s something about offering God thanksgiving that is powerful. If you look at your life, you can find 100 reasons why you should cry right now if you want to. Or you can turn it around and find 10,000 reasons why you should smile. It’s up to you to decide which one you’re going to focus on.

If you have a teenager who’s complaining constantly about cleaning his or her room, be thankful they’re home and not in the streets as a runaway. Be thankful if you have to pay taxes because it means you have the ability to be employed and have an income. Be thankful if you have to clean up after a party because you could have thrown a party and nobody showed up. Be thankful if your clothes fit too snuggly on your body, because it means you have plenty to eat. Be thankful if you had to mow your lawn and clean the gutters. It means you have a place to live.

Be thankful, and don’t gripe all the time. And even if people do gripe and protest in the streets, let’s be thankful we have the freedom of speech to do whatever we believe we should in this nation.

I believe when we understand the power of thanksgiving, it should make us grateful.

Thanksgiving isn’t just a day with great food and family. It’s a spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville. He can be contacted at 678-677-8300 or visit

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