Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that today you are enjoying time with friends, family, or some well deserved quiet time and rest. Although Thanksgiving is an American holiday, the concept of giving thanks is very important in our spiritual journey. Thanksgiving is the protocol for being in the presence of God: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).
For us, as followers of Jesus, this is a lifestyle. God’s presence is always with us: “’(Jesus) And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age‘” (Matthew 28:20b). Thanksgiving is the motif and tone of heaven: “And they (The angels, elders and four living creatures) fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen‘” (Revelation 7:11b-12).
Ideally, Thanksgiving is an aspect of us to praise God for all He has done and is doing for us and in us. Thanksgiving springs from a grateful heart. Thanksgiving is God’s will for all of us as a follower of Jesus: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
We can and should be thankful for all things:
“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
Thanksgiving should be given to God in anticipation of how and when He will answer our prayers: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6). We do this because we know and trust that His answers and His timing will always be in accordance with His good, pleasing and perfect will for our lives: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).
So today as you are enjoying whatever Thanksgiving traditions you do, take time and focus on worshipping God with Thanksgiving!