A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

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While it may be true that “a thankful heart is a happy heart,” our happiness is not the primary reason why we should be thankful.

I first watched “Madame Blueberry” almost 20 years ago, but it remains one of my favorite VeggieTales episodes. Madame Blueberry was sad even though she owned lots of things and had two butlers helping her around her house every day. In contrast, Annie Onion and Junior Asparagus were happy even though Annie’s family could only afford one slice of apple pie for her birthday celebration, and Junior’s dad could only afford to buy him a ball even though he’d preferred a train set. What made the rich Madame Blueberry sad and the poor Annie and Junior happy?

Annie and Junior did not have much. But they were thankful for the simple things that they had, like the sun in the sky, family, one single slice of apple pie and a bouncy ball. Being thankful made them happy. Madame Blueberry, on the other hand, owned lots of good stuff but cried over the things she did not have.

Ironically, Madame Blueberry only learned to be thankful after her home had turned into a big pile of smashed sticks. Surrounded by her two butlers and a bunch of newfound friends, she was truly thankful for all that she still had…

We thank God for this day.
For the sun in the sky.
For the friends that we have.
For our yummy apple pie.
For the love that He shares
’Cause He listens to our prayers
That’s why we say thanks every day.
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart.
We’re glad for what we have.
That’s an easy way to start.
For the love that He shares
’Cause He listens to our prayers.
That’s why we say thanks every day.

Madame Blueberry and friends in Madame Blueberry, VeggieTales

While it may be true that “a thankful heart is a happy heart,” our happiness is not the primary reason why we should be thankful. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We give thanks because God wants us to.

When we are rich and healthy, God wants us to acknowledge that these blessings come from Him and we should rightfully express our appreciation for His good gifts.

When we are poor and sickly, God also wants us to give thanks to Him. Sometimes misfortunes befall us even though – or precisely because – we love God and live in obedience to His will. We must give thanks to God even during times when we feel neither blessed, happy nor thankful. And we must carry on loving and obeying Him, trusting that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).

When was the last time you gave thanks to God for His blessings? Especially for those of us who have overlooked giving thanks to God throughout the year, perhaps the annual Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to pause, reflect and offer our thanks to God.

If you are planning a Thanksgiving celebration at home or in church, you may like to play some of our favorite Thanksgiving Games and Activities to liven your gathering. Free printables are provided to make your preparations that much easier. Included in this collection are popular party games with a Thanksgiving twist, such as Thanksgiving Minute to Win It, Thanksgiving Charades and Thanksgiving Pictionary. Thanksgiving Bingo is also perfect for bringing the young and old together for a time of sit-down fun after a satisfying multi-generational dinner. Or try this unique way of playing Thanksgiving Trivia where, while players take turns to answer, everyone is involved and can score points with every question. After playing these games, use the given Bible lesson to lead everyone in a time of reflection and thanksgiving.

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