Many people have observed a tradition at Thanksgiving of asking each person at the dinner table to name something for which they are thankful. I do not object to this practice at all, but we should note the giving of thanks cannot be offered in a vacuum, as if we should pick and choose those things we value and acknowledge them to God. Paul told the believers at Thessaloniki that they should “in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
If we thank God for any one “thing,” we must acknowledge it as part of His total providence and we are then confessing Him as our Sustainer and Provider. This recognition is a form of worship. If we thank God for something good, we praise Him for His goodness. If we thank God for our salvation, we praise Him for His grace. The more we recognize what God does for us, the more we see Who God is.
Thankfulness to God is not about picking the good things in life and itemizing them, but confessing the sovereignty of God and our contentment with, and safety in, His providential plan for our lives.
You are not thankful if you are bitter about what you have received. Habakkuk was a prophet of coming judgment, yet concluded his prophecy blessing God:
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield not meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
May God bless you richly for your enabling help to our ministry.
Topics: Minor Prophets