Our God has and continues to do some amazing things in our lives—He has given us life, food, clothing, shelter, purpose, love, grace, salvation through faith, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, the hope of an eternity to be spent with Him—and the list can go on and on and on. Each year, especially in the month of November, we take time to give thanks to God for all He’s done and all that He’s given. This year is no exception for me and I trust for you. God has done so much that when I ponder all of the ways God has provided for me, my mind drifts to such a beautiful time of worship. I love thanksgiving!
Scripture refers to the principle of thanksgiving all over the place. There are appointed times of giving thanks, the feast of Booths is one such example. But this isn’t all. There are countless more references that deal with a lifestyle of thanksgiving that needs to characterize a believer’s life. Paul was writing to the church at Colossae and spent time articulating what a life in Christ looks like by saying, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” We see quite clearly that when Jesus has transformed our hearts and lives, thanksgiving is to be our response.
I could quite easily finish this message by encouraging you to make time to give thanks to God during this month (I do believe you should do that). But instead, I want to point out a couple of things that will help you to be a believer who is characterized by a life of thanksgiving.
Don’t think that you are entitled to blessings. It is easy to see that we live in a society that thinks we are entitled to things simply because of who we are or where we live. Instead, be a person who sees that everything we have has come from the hand of God.
Giving thanks renews your perspective on life. A believer cannot think that he/she is self-sufficient. By giving thanks to God, we realize that we cannot do anything on our own. It also reminds us of how good God really is.
May we be a people who are characterized by a life of thanksgiving—it’s who we are.