Dear Fellow Child of God:
There are many references in Scripture to the act of men and women giving thanks to God. In a general sense, any thoughtful child of the King considers it reasonable to give thanks to Him. More specifically though, what we find in the Bible as the catalyst for our thankfulness to God are things like this: His deliverance, His salvation, His deeds, His greatness, His holiness, His glory, His wondrous works, His righteous judgments, His name, His grace, His presence, for the gift of fellow believers, and for the great power of His rulership. The list goes on and on.
In fact, to meditate on our Heavenly Father, Jesus our blessed Savior, the Holy Spirit our Teacher and Comforter is to find Him to be like an infinitely huge, infinitely faceted, infinitely hued diamond that we hold up to our humble hearts in our weak hands, as He envelopes us in the arms of His infinite love! …we in Him and He in us!
There are two more things to inspire our thankfulness that are not mentioned in the abbreviated list above: God is good and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136).
God is perfectly good. God is love. God is kind and patient. God is righteous in all His judgments. God is pure and holy. If we have to measure up to a flawless performance of good behavior, motives and attitudes, then we are condemned before we get started! Jesus Christ was the only human that was ever good enough, perfect enough, pure enough, and righteous enough to condemn us —but He did not condemn us, HE DIED IN OUR PLACE FOR US!
And, if you can imagine, God, in His beautiful, perfect, holy, pure goodness, did not just unlock the prison doors and walk away → He invites anyone who will believe, to come to Him (Matthew 11:28), to live with Him in His home (John 14:2-3)! Not the one who has enough money. Not the one who is pretty enough. Not the one who has a good education. Not the one who thinks he keeps all the laws. No!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
So here we are getting into the meat of being thankful to God. The story goes that someone called out to the preacher, “You’re preaching over my head!” The preacher replied, “Get your head up!” That’s kind of what Jesus – God the Son – told the incredulous Nicodemus in John 3: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Eventually, the question comes down to how can we give God thanks for the trying, impossible circumstances and the emotional and physical pain we face in this life? “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thessalonians 5:18). Just before going to the cross for us, Christ told His disciples: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Living in a fallen world, we find the secret to thankfulness IN CHRIST! We can look beyond our tribulation, get our head up, and in our faith in Christ we can look to Christ in us for His view of things – and there, in everything, give Him thanks! …for “God is good and His mercy endures forever!”
Thank you for reading this little note. We thank God for each of you.
Love in the Name of Jesus,