What Does the Bible Instruct Us to be Thankful For?
If you were to peruse the 150 or so verses in the Bible that speak of thanksgiving, you would find that the Bible mostly instructs us to thank God for who He is and what He does. For example, we are to thank Him for His power and might over creation (1 Chronicles 29:13), for His faithful defense and protection (Psalm 28:7), for His work of salvation (Romans 6:17), for the victory that He always brings to His people and will complete for them on that great and final day (2 Corinthians 2:14 & 1 Corinthians 15:57), and for his eternal lovingkindness (1 Chronicles 16:34).
Thanksgiving in the Bible is radically God-centered. It’s all about God. And this helps us to interpret what the Bible means when it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…in EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” In other words, learn to see and savor what God is doing in every circumstance and aspect of life and give Him thanks for what you see.
Thank God, not so much that you’re having a turkey dinner, but that God provided the food for you and gave you the sense of taste with which to savor each and every bite. Thank God, not so much that you’re with family, but that He gave you this family and you to them. Thank God, not so much that you’re team is winning, but that He gave humans the ability to make up games and play them with passion. Thank God, not so much that you have a few days off, but that He provided them for you to rest or spend time with your family or get a few things done around the house.
Learn to see and savor God in all things, to take joy in Him in all things, and to express your thanks and praise to Him for all things. Why? That He may be greatly glorified among all peoples!
If we will have eyes to see and ears to hear, this Thanksgiving can be for us the beginning of a new way of life. And indeed, that is my prayer for us all:
Our heavenly Father, please give us eyes to see you in all things this Thanksgiving, and well beyond. Give us new hearts that long to see and savor your glory and greatness and goodness, for truly there is nothing else in all creation that is worthy of our attention and affection. Give us hearts full of joy at who You are and what You do, that we might speak our thanks both privately and publicly to the end that You will be glorified in all the earth. Thank You for Your kind answers to our prayer. In Jesus Name and for Your glory we pray, Amen.Pastor Charlie