As we celebrate our national holiday tomorrow perhaps it would be a good time to ask ourselves the question: Why should we be thankful?
The Bible gives us several reasons why we should be thankful.
1. Because of God's attributes.
A) Goodness--Psalm 7:17—"I will thank the Lord for His righteousness; I will sing about the name of Yahweh the Most High.”
B) Unfailing, eternal love--1 Chronicles 16:34—"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”Psalm 107:8—"Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity.”
In protection--Psa. 28:7—"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.”
In helping us--Psa. 118:21—"I will give thanks to You because You have answered me and have become my salvation.”1 Timothy 1:12—"I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry.”
Over sin and death—1 Corinthians 15:56,57—"Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
2. Because we become a testimony to others which glorifies God.
1 Chr. 16:8—"Give thanks to Yahweh; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples.”
2 Co. 4:15—"Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.”
3. Because we are a family in Christ
Philippians 1:3—"I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you.”
Colossians 1:3—"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.”
4. Because we are saved and will inherit an eternal kingdom
Col. 1:12-14—"giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled youto share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him."
Hebrews 12:28—"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,”
5. Because God wants us to be thankful!
1 Thessalonians 5:18—"Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
How should we be thankful?
1. In our prayer life
Phi. 4:6—" Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Col 4:2—"Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.”
1 Timothy 2:1—"First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,”
Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began his prayers with an expression of gratitude. One cold, miserable day his people wondered what he would say. He prayed, "We thank Thee, O Lord, that it is not always like this."
2. In our behavior
Ephesians 5:4—"Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks.”
Col 3:17—"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (notice our focus should always be on Christ)
3. In our attitude
Col. 2:6,7—"Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.”
Col 3:15—"And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.”
Dr. Gary Demarest who wrote a commentary on the book of Colossians writes, “This peace is not the absence of conflict. It is inner poise in the midst of the storms of life. And so to live is the source of continuing gratitude. To know Christ is to be thankful."
Bible commentator Matthew Henry, after being robbed, wrote this in his diary:
Let me be thankful...
* first because I was never robbed before.
* second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life.
* third, because although they took my all, it was not much.
* fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.
We would do well to ponder the words Abraham Lincoln gave us in his THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION 1863
It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.
We know that by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)