With Thanksgiving Day approaching, we are all hearing about the need to be thankful--both from the secular and Christian world. As Christians, we know that God is serious about thankfulness. Understanding what we have been given leads to contentedness and praise to Him. In fact, the Bible doesn't skimp on the mandates to be thankful. Here are just a few verses which call Christians to gratefulness ALWAYS!
I Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done."
I Chronicles 16:34 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endres forever."
Psalm 30:12 "that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lrd my God, I will give you thanks forever.'
Psalm 35:18 "I will give You thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you."
Psalm 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."
Psalm 118:21 "I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation."
Pslam 118: 28 "You are my God, and I will give You thanks; You are my God, and I will exalt You."
I Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Colossians 1:12 "giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."
I Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Hebrews 12:28 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,"
Clearly, thankfulness is an important matter to God. If Christians truly understand their sinfulness and the gift that God has graciously given them through Jesus, the only natural reaction is inexpressible thankfulness and awe--all the time!
In knowing this, how should our Thanksgiving holiday differ from the world's? Circumstances shouldn't matter. Though the ecomomy is far from reliable, politics look bleak, sinful morality is invading law, many are suffering from illnesses ranging from the flu to cancer, and it is more and more common to suffer persecution for Christ, Christians should face such times with a joy that cannot be explained by the world. God is sovereign, His promises are certain, and this world is fleeting! What hope this creates and what a rock on which to stand for those who follow Christ.
While the secular world might struggle to find a list of items for which to give thanks, Christians have an ever-steady gaze on eternity, grasping all the more firmly their faith in Christ when the tempest of trials roars around them.
Take time this season to see if your thankfulness is more than a list or a prayer, but an all-consuming attitude of your heart. It should overflow in your speech and action throughout the year, enabling you to be an effective ambassador for Christ.
Repent of any discontent attitudes you have expressed lately and make an action plan to foster true, Biblical thankfulness in your heart. If we were honest, our list of thanks is long. Every good and perfect gift in our lives is from above. Somehow, if trials are too severe to recognize temperal blessings, we still have an anchor of hope. We have a Savior! We have a future! We have a holy God who allows us to come to Him through Christ! Thank God today.