Thanksgiving

The problem with having a day on the calendar specifically dedicated to the giving of thanks is twofold: one, we are tempted to save our expressions of thanksgiving for “the day”; two, when that day arrives, we wind up repeating ourselves.  How can something so sacred be ignored and cliché at the same time?  And how do we avoid them both?

Perhaps a good first step is to read what the Bible says about thanksgiving.  Here are a few passages for your consideration.

Psalm 26:6-7 portrays thanksgiving as a privilege granted to believers coming before the throne of God, and partners it with worship and evangelism.

Psalm 95:1-2 does much the same, emphasizing the joy that should be in the heart of the worshiper.

Psalm 100:4-5 emphasizes the root cause for our blessings — the goodness of God and His faithfulness in showing that goodness to His people.

Psalm 116:17 pairs thanksgiving with the phrase, “call upon the name of the LORD.”  The same phrase occurs three other times in the psalm.  In passages such as Psalm 18:3 and Acts 22:16, it refers to the trust of the believer in the saving power of the God he serves; here, though, the believer has already been saved.  Therefore the believer is thankful not only for what he has received, but also for the provision he fully expects from God in the future.

We cannot pass through without referencing Philippians 4:6-7.  Thanksgiving puts our current needs and requests into context.  We find peace in our troubles by remembering all God has done for us in the past.

We cannot allow “Thanksgiving” to be merely the name of one particular day.  “Thanksgiving” for the believer is a way of life, an attitude of heart.  It may be trite to say so, but I will do it anyway: Let us be thankful this holiday season, and let it remind us how thankful we should be every day of the year.