“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
For Americans, Thanksgiving is a national holiday. It is a day set apart for the purpose of expressing our gratitude. So how important is it to be thankful? What are we really doing when we give thanks? Consider the following ideas:
1. IN ORDER TO GIVE THANKS WE MUST LOOK BEYOND OURSELVES.
Most families gather on Thanksgiving to give thanks to God. Some may simply thank one another or take the opportunity to express gratitude to their friends or their co-workers or their boss for favors or opportunities received in the past year. In any case, giving thanks necessitates looking beyond self. When we say, “thank you,” we are acknowledging that we have received blessings from hands other than our own. Christians, of course, know that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. . .” (James 1:17). Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thank the Lord for His Providence!
2. IN ORDER TO GIVE THANKS WE MUST EVALUATE OUR BLESSINGS.
Has anything good happened to you lately? Sometimes life seems like nothing but mountains to climb and valleys to cross. The truth is though, that mountaintops are God’s special gifts and the still waters are found in the valleys. We truly serve a God who is able to work all things together for our good. Thank the Lord for His Wisdom and Grace!
3. IN ORDER TO GIVE THANKS WE MUST PLACE VALUE ON EVENTS AND THINGS.
Do we really believe that God is in charge? Do we really believe that God is faithful and good? If so, then we must look for His hand in the events of our days. As you begin to give thanks, remember, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about these things” (Php. 4:8). But also remember, a brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks. Thank the Lord for His Goodness.
4. IN ORDER TO GIVE THANKS WE MUST RE-EXAMINE OUR PATH.
In the midst of battles, “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer [i.e., a stone of remembering], saying, ‘Thus far has the LORD helped us.’” It is important to remember that we have passed many places where we might have fallen and been lost had it not been for the mercy and kindness of our Lord. We have not come to this day and hour by our own strength. Thank the Lord for His Mighty Power.
5. THANKSGIVING IS FAITH-BUILDING.
How do we know that our God is faithful and powerful? We know because His Word declares it and because we have experienced it in our own lives. We know we can trust Him for tomorrow because He faithfully provided for us yesterday and today. Praise God for His unchanging Love.