O Give Thanks Unto the Lord!During this Thanksgiving season, it is sad that so many in our society are not truly thankful, either to God or others.  I came across some interesting answers to the question “To whom are you thankful?”

“To who will I be thankful? To everyone I know and love, as well as to myself. Just ‘thankful.'”

Myself, I’ll be doing the cooking.”

The Great Turkey”

(The above three quotes taken from Yahoo! Answers  http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AvUOO2_rntqpL9Zyg2FFTEQh4wt.;_ylv=3?qid=20071109145542AApIJQY)

“Well, that’s a tough one. It usually involves a higher power, but which higher power? There are just so many to choose from. The Christian God’s pretty popular here in North America. He might not be a bad place to start….” (From Be Thankful for What You Didn’t Get by Mike Jones – the Daily Texan on-line)

Thankful for our prosperity? Well, yes. … But this is a thanks given to oneself—appropriately—for having been an industrious worker of usually moderate appetite.

… Thankful for our freedom? Thankful to whom? … Ought we to be thankful for something that’s ours by right—that requires nothing of others except that they not impose their wills upon us by force?

… Thankful for the love of our families and friends? I suppose so. Love is a thing given, to be sure. But love is also a thing earned. …

I give thanks for natural law….” (from An Unappreciated Marvel by Francis W. Porretto, http://www.eternityroad.info/index.php/weblog/screeds/an_unappreciated_marvel/)

Statements like these are hard to fathom!  Absolutely everything we have–health, strength, daily sustenance, prosperity, liberty, love–comes from God.   

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

John 3:27 (John the Baptist speaking) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

The Bible is replete with blessings for which we must give thanks to God. The following are just a few examples:

Salvation

2 Cor. 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable [indescribable] gift.

Col. 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Life, Breath

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Col. 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;

Daily provision

Matt. 5:45 … He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Psalm 136:26 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 145:9, 15-16 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. … The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

His mercy

Psalm 107:1-2, 6, 8-9 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

 

[When the people would rebel against God and turn from His way, God would bring trials and troubles on them.]

 

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

 

With all of these blessings, no matter what our situation, we cannot say we have nothing for which to be thankful.  Even trials and difficult situations are used by God for our good.  They serve to make us more like Christ.

Rom. 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

I Thes. 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

In addition to being thankful to God, we must also be thankful to others: to our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, pastors, teachers, even strangers.  Too often we are consumed with self and forget all that others invest in us.  Selfishness and pride hinder us from being thankful.

 

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It is important to remember that simply being thankful is not sufficient.  We must also express our thankfulness.  If we do not say “Thank you!” people cannot be sure that we are thankful.  Think of the ten lepers in Luke 17.  After Jesus healed them, only one returned to express his thankfulness.  The other nine probably were thankful in their hearts, but because they did not return to say “Thank you,” we view them as ungrateful. 

 

There are many ways to express our thankfulness: saying thank you, writing thank you notes, verbally recognizing others’ investment in our lives, speaking of “all [God’s] wondrous works.”  This Thanksgiving, may we each have hearts that are brimming over with thankfulness to God and others, for we will speak out of that which fills our hearts (Luke 6:45).        

Psalm 105:1-5 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.

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© Copyright 2007 by Vida Earnshaw

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