Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Do you know why God designed you to give thanks?
As we enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, the door to where he lives opens (Psalm 100:4). When the Temple was built, it was thanksgiving and praise that prepared the way for the presence of God (2 Chronicles 5:13). When we are anxious, it is thanksgiving that brings peace to our worried minds (Philippians 4:6). When the disappointments in life threaten to harden our hearts, it is thanksgiving that keeps them soft (Psalm 95). When we grow old, it is thanksgiving that causes us to keep bearing fruit (Psalm 92).
So why do we underestimate the power of gratitude? Why do we fail to give thanks?
We have short memories. How many times, after a crisis has passed, do we remember our cries to God? Sometimes answered prayer seems so natural, we almost dismiss the supernatural intervention that took place. Although we are warned not to forget the Lord’s “benefits,” we do. And when we forget what he has done, we don’t thank him.
Every year at Thanksgiving we, like many families, go around our table and each person gives thanks for one specific thing from the past year. We’ve given thanks for marriages, new babies, and work. We’ve expressed gratitude for the old farmhouse where we can all gather, for a winning Penn State football season and for the opportunity to be thankful! I’m glad we do it. I’m glad we take a few moments to remember. To remember that in the midst of blessings undeserved, we have Someone to thank.
But we don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving for Giving thanks. We have a myriad of reasons each day to provoke our gratitude. We become more thankful the more we put thanksgiving into practice. And the more thankful we are, the more we enter God’s presence, and the more we have peace, humility and fruitfulness.
I pray you will express your thankfulness this Thanksgiving, but even more, I pray you cultivate being thankful throughout the year. Happy Thanksgiving-ing!