(In case you are wondering, this is a reblog. Trying to catch up after a busy and challenging week – thanks for your patience!)
You’re probably thinking, “You forgot a word, Doug. It’s ‘Thank God it’s Friday.” Actually, it’s intentional. I know the popular phrase (and the restaurant bearing that name). I want us to think of Friday, not as a benchmark that we made it through another work week, but as a day where we can recollect the ways God has blessed us. I want us to make Friday a day of thanksgiving, hence: It’s “Thank God Friday!”
Actually, giving thanks to God is something we should do all the time. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in every circumstance. This, along with prayer and rejoicing in the Lord, is what God wills us to do. So we don’t need a special day to thank God; it should be part of what we do every day and many times during each day.
But Friday is a good time to “collect” our thanksgivings. Because it’s at the end of the work week, we can look back and remember the faithfulness of God for the entire week. I don’t know about you, but when I hit the weekend it’s like pushing the “reset” button on my mind – I forget what I did during the week because I’m engaged in the weekend. So Friday is as good a time as any to remember the good things God has done.
So grab a paper and a pen and start jotting down the ways God has blessed you this week. If you’re having a hard time thinking of things – don’t fret! Maybe some of the following things will jog your memory:
1. Did God bring someone new to you this past week? Did you deepen a relationship? Is there someone you are really thankful for?
2. Did God give you strength to accomplish difficult tasks this week? Was there a time when you saw “fruitfulness” in your work? Did someone affirm or encourage you for something you did?
3. Did God give you a prompting that you followed up on? Did He speak to your heart about something? Did He draw you closely to Himself through prayer or personal worship?
4. Did God teach you something new this week? Did He speak to you through Scripture, a Christian author? Did you apply some new spiritual insight? Did following a Biblical principal this week protect you or bless you or bless someone else?
5. Did God give you opportunities to serve and love others this week? Did you sense the joy of serving? Did you get to use your spiritual gift or special ability to bless another person or make a situation better?
6. Did God give you a pleasant memory this week? An unexpected blessing? An email encouragement? A blog that really spoke to you? (Ok, I confess I’m guilty of manipulation!) Something that lifted your spirit when you felt down?
7. Did God teach you something through a trial? Are you finding grace in unexpected places through a hardship? Is your soul expanding toward God and others because of difficulties you’ve endured?
8. Is there something you normally take for granted that you realize now is a great blessing? (like breathing, eating, taking a hot shower, driving a car) Did you notice something in everyday life that is amazing (like watching a hummingbird gather nectar from a flower)?
Now that you have a list of things you are thankful for, I want you to do something with it:
Bring it with you when you go to worship with your church – and get there a little early. Before the service starts, take out your little “Thank God Friday” list and use it to give God an intentional, well-thought out sacrifice of thanksgiving. And see if that doesn’t “jump start” your worship of God!
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)
Don’t just “Thank God it’s Friday”; but make today a “Thank God Friday”!