I have been contemplating the topic of thankfulness for the past few weeks. I thought I would wait until after Thanksgiving Day to write this post. I have noticed an increasing trend on social media sites where people will post things they are thankful for daily in November, and most especially on Thanksgiving Day itself. While I am thankful that people take time out from their busy days to think about what things they are thankful for, I have a couple of observations.
I am thankful for my family, friends, house, and health. We are to be "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Ephesians 5:20
I am thankful when we are in want or have plenty, I am thankful when it rains, when it is cold, and when it is hot and dry. I am thankful for the mountain moments in life and I am thankful for the dark valleys. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
I am thankful that I can come before the throne of grace and "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [my] requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6
I am thankful that I can gather freely on the Lord's Day to worship Him. I can "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name." Psalm 10:4
I am most thankful for my salvation which was made available to me through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15
Which brings me to my first question- to whom are we thankful?
Most of the posts I read include long lists of people and things that the person writing is thankful for. Most people over the age of about 12 know that when you receive a gift, it is appropriate to read the attached card first and see who the gift is from. After opening the gift then, you say, "Thank you Aunt Sally for this beautiful thing." You don't rip open packages and bags and just generally say I am thankful for all my gifts, you focus your thanksgiving to the one who provide that for which you are thankful. It is God who provides and allows us to have all that we have, whether material goods or people in our lives.
Many people will proclaim their thankfulness and deny the truth of the One who provided that for which they are thankful. "Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21
Secondly, we are to be a thankful people all day, every day, 365 days a year. Let us remember that we should be daily practicing thanksgiving. When I daily (sometimes it is minute by minute) remember that it is God's merciful hand of providence through which all of my life's joys and sorrows are filtered, when I being fully convinced that He alone knows what I need; He alone works all things for my good because I love God and am called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28), then, and only then can I keep myself from falling into the wrong thinking that I am the one in control; being constantly reminded to whom I am thankful. I am made aware of my utter dependence upon Him. I know that it is not my credit to take for all that I have, and can be humbled in my walk before God.
Let us remember to be thankful to God always.