Thou that hast giv’n
so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.
Every year at the end of November, we join family and friends over a great feast to reflect upon blessings and give thanks to the Lord. Thanksgiving Day can be a wonderful time, a holy time, of pausing to express gratitude to God. But just like prayer and praise and listening to Him, thanksgiving isn’t only meant for special gatherings, for a date on the calendar, for a once-a-year celebration.
The psalmist says in Psalm 34:1, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. And the apostle Paul implores the church in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” In fact, it is the “will of God in Christ Jesus” that we do so. Gratitude enhances our relationship with the Lord not only by encouraging a spirit of joy but also by preparing our hearts to bless others … to serve others … to do the Lord’s work.
One of God’s greatest blessings is calling His people to be a part of something greater than we could possibly know—the eternal impact of what we are doing as the mission of Christ followers. Every day, we should give thanks for the glorious opportunity to serve a sovereign and faithful God whose love endures forever.
No matter what you are experiencing, good or bad, thanksgiving will not change your circumstances. But, thanksgiving and praise will change what your circumstances do to you. Your circumstances in life will either destroy you or can be a blessing to you if you learn how to give thanks.
And when we say thank you, we recognize that beyond us and beyond our circumstances and beyond what’s going on in our lives, there is a sovereign God who loves us, who has a wonderful plan for our lives, who plans to give us a future and a hope, who is overall, above all, in all, through all, and in everything!
So, today … and every day … we give thanks.
Dr. Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, which has campuses in Prosper, Plano and Dallas.