Thanksgiving as a privilege
(November Newsletter Article)
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118:1
I think most of us know we should be more thankful to God for his blessings. We know it's a good thing to celebrate a day set aside for giving Him thanks. But we all know we should do more thanking, and be more thankful. This is a recognition of the law, that Thanksgiving is an obligation. God deserves our thanks, and is due much gratitude. We SHOULD, we MUST thank him. But oh, how we fail.
There's another way of looking at thanks-giving, and that is as a privilege. We GET to thank God. Think about it. We Christians have the privilege and honor of knowing God's name – so we know who to thank! I'm always struck by a popular song on the radio that says, “at the end of the day, we should give thanks and pray to the one....” The one what? The song never says. But we know who to thank, for He gives us His Name – the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Giver of all good things.
And we have the confidence to call upon him. He actually wants to hear our prayers, and is receptive to them through Jesus Christ. We are not only commanded to pray in thanksgiving, but we are also blessed to be able to do so. If God were deaf to our prayers of thanks, if He didn't hear our words of appreciation, there wouldn't be a relationship between us. But through Jesus Christ, there is a relationship – we are his children forever. As his dear children, God gives us all good things, and in return he receives our thanks. He delights in our prayers and our thanksgiving – and receives them.
And don't forget, thanks-giving is good for us, too! It teaches us to recognize our blessings, to understand rightly that we don't deserve these gifts. It teaches us that God is the one to approach for every physical and spiritual blessing. And it helps us not to worry about tomorrow, to be greedy or wasteful, but to appreciate fully the present gifts we enjoy. We can also give thanks for the promises of many more gifts to come.
So give thanks for your body and soul, eyes, ears and all your members, your reason and all your senses, your house and home, clothing and shoes, food and drink, spouse, children, land, animals and all that you have! Give thanks for Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and that His holy precious blood redeems you, an otherwise lost and condemned person. And give thanks that His Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies us in the one true faith, and keeps us with Christ forever.
There is so much for which to be thankful! May all your days be spent in the privilege of thanks-giving to the Giver of all good things. Amen.