[EDITOR’S NOTE: We published this article last Thanksgiving, but I thought it would be a good reminder for us this year as well.]
“Be thankful, therefore, for the least benefit and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater. Let the least be unto thee even as the greatest, and let that which is of little account be unto thee even as the greatest. If the majesty of the Giver be considered, nothing that is given shall be small and of no worth, for that is not a small thing which is given by the Most High God.” – Thomas à Kempis
What do you have to be thankful for this year? A new job? Better health? New friends?
For many of us Thanksgiving is just another day on the calendar, a time to get together with family and eat a big meal. This is the only time of the year that many people bother to stop and think about what they have to be thankful for. Take note: Such an attitude is unhealthy and unbiblical.
The Bible teaches us about thanksgiving in many places and in many ways. The word “thanksgiving” shows up throughout Scripture. In fact, that word and others related to it appear over 140 times in the Bible. To put that in perspective, the word “gospel” is used less than 100 times. That’s not to say the “gospel” is less important but that “thanksgiving” is more important than most of us realize.
Why is thanksgiving so important? The Word of God gives thanksgiving a vital place in the life of the believer. The one who has a thankful heart is one that gives God the worship He deserves.
Feel the heartbeat of thanksgiving in the most famous of the “thanksgiving” psalms, Psalm 100.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindess is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Listen to Paul’s attitude of gratitude as he reminds us that we should thank God for all things.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
So, thank God regularly. Worship Him with thanksgiving and song. Thank Him for the big things in your life. Thank Him for the small. Thank Him for the good and thank Him for the bad. More importantly, thank Him day in and day out, not just on “Thanksgiving” day.
Let us today join the heavenly choir as they sing:
Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 7:12).
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written for Dr. Beck’s congregation in their church newsletter. I think it serves as a helpful reminder for us all!