As we approach this Thanksgiving season, protests, strife and anger saturate the world. Fear, violence, and terror run rampant. All that’s wrong seems to eclipse what remains good and right. Evidence for a fallen world surrounds us. Touches us. So how can we give thanks in the midst of it? How do we keep from killing gratitude?
Gratitude comprises an indispensible part of life. When we fail to give God thanks, more dies than gratitude. Thanklessness plunges us into a sea of decadence. It eventually kills sound thinking, morality, love, and virtually everything that makes life worth living. That’s what Scripture says (Romans 1:21-31). Thankfulness protects us from deception and helps us stay upright when the waves of disappointment and uncertainty threaten to throw us overboard. You would think by now we would know that…wouldn’t you?
Jesus maintained gratitude even when he knew a disruption of seismic proportions would be occurring within the next 24 hours. Fully aware he was about to be betrayed, deserted and crucified, he didn’t let the approaching darkness distract him. In the intimacy and quietness of that Upper Room Jesus took the bread, then the cup and he “gave thanks” (Luke 22:17;19).
Jesus allowed no second-guessing of the plan. Second-guessing always stirs discontentment and kills gratitude. Jesus didn’t fall for it. He knew his Father. He trusted him to fulfill his purpose and refused to dishonor him by withholding his thanks…even when life took an unpleasant turn.
The Romans Paul was writing to also knew God. But somewhere along the way, they stopped thanking him. Stopped honoring him through their gratefulness. Stopped recognizing their very lives were a gift from him. They killed gratitude.
As followers of Jesus, let’s not be like the Romans. Let’s never stop expressing gratitude. Let’s honor God every day of our life by giving him thanks. Even when trouble knocks on the door…let’s still be thankful for a God who has a plan that far exceeds the difficulty.
This Thanksgiving, maybe more than ever before, be intentional about giving thanks. Don’t bury it under a rubble of complaint and worry. Don’t let anything kill your gratitude.