Thanksgiving is over for another year. I hope yours was a joyous day.
Did you take time to thank your Creator for his many blessings to you? Did you give thought to particular blessings you have received? Are you thankful to God today? Right now? Is your life a life of thankfulness?
Genuine thankfulness is not something we can put on or take off for a day. We are either thankful people or we are not.
Good parents have to teach their children to say “please” and “thank you” and to appreciate what they have. It is not always so easy to do this with children. Sadly, many who are no longer children still don’t seem to have learned thankfulness either.
Have you ever felt surrounded by unhappiness and discontent? Have you noticed people in similar circumstances reacting in totally opposite ways to their circumstances?
Visit people in a nursing home sometime and you will easily see it. All some seem to do is complain, while others are happy and cheerful. The difference is thankfulness. People who are thankful to God are thankful for those who care for them, as well as God’s blessings to them.
The main cause of unthankfulness is not knowing by experience the grace and mercy of God. Thankful people are happy people. Thankful people are content with how God has dealt with them.
Psalms 106, 107, 118 and 136 all begin with these words, “O, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Those who know the Lord know he is good and his love for them is unchanging and will endure, not only in this life, but also throughout eternity. Knowing and believing those truths makes all the difference in the world.
The world may seem out of control but it never is. Satan is prowling about like a roaring lion seeking to devour and destroy, and sometimes he comes as an angel of light, seeking to deceive us with his lies disguised as truth (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14), but he can do no more than God allows him (Job 1:12 and 2:6).
Anyone who has placed his hope for time and eternity on Jesus Christ and him alone has no real reason to be unthankful. What makes the Christian so thankful are promises like those found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for all who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” and Romans 8:31, 32, “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who spared not his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Take time to read Romans 8, especially verses 26-39 for the context of these promises.
These facts are words from our Creator, the one who gives us life and breath and all things. How can we be anything but thankful with promises like these?
Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic for 51 years, who battled stage 3 breast cancer 8 years ago, upon receiving a recent diagnosis of new cancer responded, “When I received the unexpected news of cancer from my oncological surgeon, I relaxed and smiled, knowing that my sovereign God loves me dearly and holds me tightly in His hands.” That folks is thankfulness.
Charles Fitzpatrick is the pastor of Reibers Reformed Baptist Church near Shermans Dale.