This morning as I spend time in the Word I was struck by the question, “What does it mean to give thanks?”.
As I was reading through 1 Chronicles 16:4-36, Psalm 107:8, Psalm 118:21, Isaiah 38:17-19 and Hebrews 13:15, I was struck by the fact that we are commanded to give thanks to the Lord, to sign his name and praises and to proclaim his deeds among the peoples (1 Cr. 16:8). Then I wondered how often do we:
- Recount the deeds God has done in our lives?
- Stop to talk about ALL of God’s provisions and recount His faithfulness?
- Acknowledge that what we have comes from His hand?
- Cultivate a heart of joy and gratefulness for all we have and even for what we don’t have?
Very frequently we focus on what we don’t have. We fix our eyes on what we are waiting for or longing for. But we are called to
Give thanks to the Lord; call on his name; proclaim his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him; sing praise to him; tell about his wondrous works!1 Chronicles 16:8-9
A couple of verses later we find the promise that those whose hearts seek the Lord will rejoice (vs. 10). As we begin the road to Thanksgiving, let us set aside our waiting, our longing, mourning or anything that hinders us from focusing our gaze on Him who saved our souls and provides what we need and more. Let us stop and count all that he has done for us, that He has forgiven our sins and given us new life in Him! Let us take the time to praise His name and proclaim His deeds to the world. Let’s engage in a time of conscious awareness of all He has done. Coming to the throne of grace with thanksgiving for He is our Victory, our Life, and our Hope. After we have meditated in this, let us share with others all that we are grateful for.
For some of us, this may be harder as there are hardships in our lives but even in moments of trials we can remember and rejoice in all that God has done!! In this same section, the Israelites are being called to:
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wondrous works he has done, his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced.vs. 11-12
In the midst of our struggles, we can still rejoice and give thanks for we have a faithful and good God.
I loved how Jessica Lamb summarized this: “A grateful heart isn’t a response to our circumstances or possessions. It is a posture of worship, an active response to our unchanging God and what He has already accomplished and continues to accomplish. We can cultivate thanksgiving in ourselves by taking time to notice who God is, what He has done and what He continues to do”.
Today, let us take the time to remember who Jesus is and what he has done for us in the cross. To count all of the blessings we have in our lives and give thanks to our God. Finally, let’s encourage each other by sharing with our friends the deeds God has done in our lives and asking them to remember with us all that Jesus has done.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18