Psalm 100:4, “Be thankful to Him, and bless His name”
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
My last devotional was entitled “Looking Up”. My beloved, there are always reasons for being thankful and today I want to continue that theme with some more Thanksgiving thoughts concerning “Looking Around”. I would urge you to take a few moments to reflect on and to thank the LORD for:
(1) Our wonderful country, so blessed, so unique;
(2) Close family ties, so affirming, so enjoyable;
(3) Teachers, mentors, and personal heroes who spur us on;
(4) An opportunity to be of help and encouragement to others;
(5) The embrace of a friend who really cares;
(6) The joy of seeing our children and grandchildren grow and learn;
(7) An occupation that enables us to make a living; and
(8) A place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat.
(9) Such incredible abundance and just by looking around, we are made aware of how rich we really are.
True thankfulness is more than being grateful for what we possess. It’s an attitude that permeates our relationship with the Lord so that we may serve Him with gladness of heart and with joy.
God’s Eternal Word challenges us as stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” There’s no getting around it. God wants us to pray with thanksgiving when the future is uncertain, when heartbreak hits, and when shortfalls come.
So, how can we say thanks in a meaningful way? Try thanking God for the trials that caused you to recognize your spiritual needs, to mourn over sin, and to submit to God. Thank Him for the joys and sorrows that encouraged you to hunger after righteousness, to show mercy, to be pure in heart, or to be a peace maker. Thank Him for whatever has helped you to develop the blessedness that reflects His plan for your well-being.
It’s hard to be grateful in difficulties, but it’s not impossible. Daniel “prayed and gave thanks” (Daniel 6:10), knowing that his life was in danger. Jonah called out “with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jonah 2:9) while inside a fish! These examples, coupled with God’s promise that He will work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), can inspire us to be thankful in all things.
Another way to says thanks to God is by reading Psalm 100, aloud. It’s one of the great sons of thanksgiving in the Bible. It calls us to realize that we belong to God our Maker, and to praise Him for His goodness, mercy, and truth. So, my beloved, why not do it morning and evening for a week as you begin and end each day? “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name”. With meaningful repetition, the practice of saying thanks will become the habit of our hearts.
Give me a spirit of thankfulness, Lord,
For numberless blessings given,
Blessings that daily come to me
Like dewdrops falling from heaven. – Dawe
A thankful person enjoys a blessing twice, when it’s received, and when it’s remembered.