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In 2010, Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis conducted a study on giving thanks. Emmons required his subjects to keep “Gratitude Journals”, writing at least 5 things each day they were thankful for. After just 3 weeks, the UC Davis Ph.D saw dramatic and verifiable results. Some of the benefits those who practiced being deliberately grateful every day experienced included:

  • stronger immune systems
  • lower blood pressure
  • better sleep
  • alertness
  • higher optimism
  • became more compassionate and generous
  • became more outgoing
  • became more forgiving

A key component in Emmons’ observations was that these benefits were directly tied to expressing gratefulness to a higher power or spiritual entity.

Faith – it’s good for the body.

In modern America we revere scientific research as the ultimate authority. The Bible tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessolonians 5:18

It turns out that isn’t just spiritual mumbo-jumbo. There is actually science behind the idea of gratefulness. God says “Give thanks” because it’s good for us! It literally improves our lives.

Our Founding Fathers innately understood this concept.

George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation acknowledges the necessity of gratefulness.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Washington and his fellow revolutionaries understood that giving thanks to a Creator wasn’t simply a matter of ceremony. It was vital to the health of a nation. A positive thinking, encouraged, confident population is the key to economic and patriotic growth. Even Professor Emmons gleans from his study that gratitude “allows us to celebrate the present…blocks negative emotions…helps resist stress…and gives people a higher sense of self-worth. It’s not an accident that America has been the most successful experiment in the history of mankind. Gratefulness, nationally celebrated serves to build a great nation.

Scripture combined with history combined with modern science confirm this one principle

Thankfulness is the mother of prosperity.

This Thanksgiving we will be reminded nonstop by the permanent “bitter class” that Thanksgiving is nothing but unnecessary gloating on the part of imperialistic Americans who destroyed the Native culture of this continent and wreaked war and havoc on the rest of the globe from then on. Maybe that is one reason America has suddenly found herself in the grips of unrest and chaos. Being thankful has fallen out of style. When we diminish gratefulness as a nation, we also diminish national pride and success.

In the face of all the inevitable “America is an imperialistic tyrant!” Posts this Thanksgiving let those of us who still have an appreciation for scripture, history and science give our thanks with enthusiasm.

We know what scripture the Founding Fathers and research alike have been telling us for years: a grateful heart yields many benefits.

3 Responses

  1. Scout

    Thank you Kira. A beautiful piece much appreciated on this holiday and during these perilous times. I have read recently that Christianity is on the rise worldwide exponentially more than any other religion. When the going gets rough people get serious about their religious beliefs.

    Reply
  2. JESSE YBARRA

    Good stuff Kira, thank you. It was in 1622 when the PILGRIMS broke bread with the Natives and gave thanks. For having a place to go to after fleeing from the KING at the time because of his TYRANNY of their Religious beliefs. Their wisdom helped to create AMERICA the Greatest Nation ever to be created. The Founding Fathers had the wisdom to put in place safe guards so WE THE PEOPLE would never have to run away from our nation because of Religious Tyranny. Its up to all of us to make sure that our government doesn’t get away with any action that does and stop it now. I’M THANKFUL FOR AMERICA,
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL !! GOD BLESS YOU ALL, GOD BLESS AMERICA !!
    Your Brother in Freedom, H-TOWN KID

    Reply
  3. GETTINGMINE

    Thanks. This is a really great piece. No words truer. The power of being Thankful and the Power of Prayer…

    By the way, the painting ‘George Washington Praying at Valley Forge’ by Arnold Friberg is one of my all time favorite Paintings. It is a powerful in it’s depiction of how Providence played such an important part in our History, our forefathers, leaders, and as a Nation.

    I have been to Valley Forge, it is quite frankly, hard to imagine sufferings of the soldiers who had to spend months in inhuman conditions…the hardships they endured..how their Commander in Chief, George Washington felt when he knew could not help them outright…how the soldiers survived the ravaging winter…their never ending courage, and endurance to defend and fight for their ‘country’ and keep it from the claws of the British.

    God Bless and Defend our United States…

    …from the Communists.

    Reply

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