This week, in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a legal national holiday set aside for feasting, getting together with family and friends, and giving thanks to God.
For believers, however, Thanksgiving should be a daily event, not just a yearly proclamation. Most everyone likes turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings, but we seem to reserve that meal only for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Unfortunately, sometimes we do the same when it comes to giving thanks to God. As Thanksgiving comes around, everyone begins to think about thanking God and praising Him for what He's done. Yet the act of Thanksgiving should be part of our lives 365 days a year.
We should greet Him every day with thanksgiving on our lips. I thank God every day for what I have. I don't thank Him just for spiritual things, although those are vitally important, and we should thank Him for them. But I am also thankful for natural things. I thank God that I have clothes to wear—that I have more suits and two pairs of shoes that I can wear when I minister. There was a time when I did not have those things.
Many of us have much to be thankful for. Yet we sometimes sit around griping about what we don't have. The best way to stay locked into a bad situation is to gripe and complain about it. The best way to be released from it is to thank God for who He is and what He's done for us.
Be Thankful & Glad At All Times
Psalm 126:3 says, "The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." When we're glad, it's easy to give thanks. When we're sad, we don't feel like doing it. But we need to learn how to give thanks at all times.
Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." How often do we enter into God's presence with thanksgiving and praise? Most of the time we enter in saying, "Lord, I need this. Lord, give me that. Lord, do this. Lord, bless me!"
Yes, we need things. But sometimes we need to enter into God's presence just to worship Him, to thank Him for what He has already done for us, and not to ask Him for anything.
We need to praise God for who He is. He is the great Creator. He is our Heavenly Father. And we need to praise Him for what He has done. We need to thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on Calvary that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Stop for a moment and remember what God has done for you. Where are you now compared to where you were five years ago? Do you have anything to be thankful for? You must--you are still here!
There are people whom doctors said would be dead in just months or days. But they are alive today because God touched them and healed them! I'm not against medical science in the least. But medical science runs up against impossibilities, and nothing is impossible with God! I guarantee you that people whom God has healed of terminal illness know how to thank Him! They thank God every day when they see the dawn, and the moon, and stars at night. You can't have a tragedy averted in your life without being thankful to God.
A Daily Privilege
I know how to give thanks! I'm thankful to God for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He's going to do! God told us in His Word what He's going to do. The Bible, especially the New Testament, is His will for believers. And I thank God that His will is coming to pass in my life.
Giving thanks is a daily privilege. We need to make sure that we take time to thank God for His many blessings—not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day! First of all I am thankful for my salvation. How about you? That's a good place to start
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.