Thanksgiving is an attitude than just an act in the sight of God Almighty. God looks at our heart and knows where our heart is. God wants us to have a heart that is filled with gratitude. Many times, we get so down and discouraged just because our prayers are not answered in the way we want them to.
God’s word encourages us to thank the Lord for He is good. The situations could be bad or the situations could be challenging. But we need to remember one thing! God is good and He is good all the time. In good times and in bad times, the Lord is good. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Situations change, but God doesn’t. Circumstances change but God doesn’t.
Thanksgiving is a sacrifice. The Psalmist says in Ps 116:17, ‘I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord’.
Paul says that he is bound to give thanks to the Lord. In 2 Thes 2:13, ‘But we are bound to give thanks to God always’. 1 Chr 16:8 says, ‘Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name. Not only that, thanksgiving is God’s will for us. 1 Thes 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks”.
Thanksgiving is what the angels, elders and the heavenly creatures are giving god continually. Rev 7: 11-12 says, “All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen”
How can we express thanksgiving to God?
1. By singing:
1 Chr 16:9 says, “Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him”. Ps 47:7says, ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! We see the word praise repeated four times in that verse. It is so important that we praise God with our songs. Ps 69:30 says, ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving’.
2. By praying:
Phil 4:6-7says, ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God’.
When we pray, God wants us to have a thankful heart for He hears our prayers. He listens to our cry. He just wants us to make known our requests to Him. The word ‘in’ in the above verse means ‘in the midst of’. We should learn to thank God for He is able to carry us through.
3. By giving:
Ps 50:14 says, ‘Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. God wants us to give thanks for what He has given us already. If we thank God for what we do have, He will give us what we do not have. This is the confidence that we have in Christ that He will give us what we need in ‘its’ time and that will be ‘beautiful’. God has a time for everything. Just because something gets delayed, doesn’t mean that we should be sad and upset. Begin giving thanks for what God has already given you.
Paul says, he has learned to be content. What he means is that he has learnt not to be frustrated and upset about things in life. Isn’t that good! Let us give thanks to the Lord!
May the Lord give us a thankful heart all the time in Jesus name, Amen.