This week millions of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving in a variety places, in a variety of ways. Thanksgiving is an especially important time for Christians because it reminds us that we are to be marked by constant thankfulness.
The lie we often believe is that if we have good things, we should be thankful. But if we have bad things, we are allowed to be discontent and desire better things. This is not limited to material things. The same can be said about circumstances. However, the Bible teaches that believers are to be constantly marked by giving thanks, not just on one day, and not just when good things happen to us.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Phil. 4:6)
"In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18)
Scripture is clear that believers are to give thanks in any and every circumstance. This may be difficult, but a helpful exercise is to remember what we truly deserve—we deserve hell. The only thing we really deserve is hell because of our sin, and yet God has poured out his goodness in our lives in so many ways—not the least of which is the promise of eternal life!
It is noteworthy that Romans 1:21 says that unbelievers are marked by a rejection of God so as to specifically not give God thanks. This is an important lesson to remember: you are acting like an unbeliever when you are not thankful.
Thanksgiving has come and gone as a holiday. But in reality, we ought to cultivate hearts that are always pouring out thankfulness to the Lord. Has God not been exceedingly kind to us?