By Brandy Webb
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving-kindness is everlasting” (Psa 118:1).
This past Thursday was America’s day of Thanksgiving, and the fact that not everyone celebrates it doesn’t mean that we as Christians can’t use it as a reminder of what we should be doing every day—giving God thanks. I know I need to practice giving God thanks for everything, and I mean everything. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, because giving thanks “in all circumstances” is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thess 5:18).
God wants us to offer up sacrifices of Thanksgiving to Him (Ps 50:14; 23). What is interesting about the idea of sacrifice is that it requires us to give something up “in order to get or do something else or to help someone” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacrifice). You may wonder what we would have to give up in order to give God thanks. Well, for starters, ungratefulness, maybe even bitterness, selfishness, anger, and more. It is pretty hard for me to give God thanks when I feel wronged. It is hard to give God thanks when I am going through a trial. It is hard to give God thanks if I watch too much news. Yet, these are the most important times to give God thanks because He is in control.
We have to acknowledge the fact that no matter how bad this life is, we have a hope because Jesus died for us. This life is not the only one. God the Father is so merciful that He willingly sacrificed His Son to give us eternal life, even though we didn’t/don’t deserve it. This is why we should give thanks to God our Father and Jesus our Savior all the time, everyday. Remember:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him (Lam 3:22-25).
Therefore, even if you do not celebrate America’s Thanksgiving, live a life that in “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col 3:17). Just be warned, though, giving thanks for all things will lead to feelings of joy, gratefulness, and cheerfulness, and a “cheerful heart is good medicine” (Prov 17:22a). I think I could live with a little more of those traits; how about you? Let us give thanks.