Give thanks

Giving God thanks is a feeling and expression of thankfulness and appreciation of everything God has done and is doing in our life. It is an inward appreciation of God’s love and grace to us. Some of us do argue that God is unfair to them and instead of giving thanks grumble and complain. They are blinded by particular situations they are facing; thereby taking for granted God’s love and kindness. They take for granted the beauty of this world: the air and breeze, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the water, the mountains, the clouds, our friends and those we love. Those who truly believe that “God is good all the time” and “his mercy endures forever, don’t have problems giving thanks to God in every situation. In every bad situation, they know, “it could have been worse”.

There are many blessings that come from being grateful for the good things from God we enjoy. When you live with a spirit of thanksgiving you get greater happiness and satisfaction in life. Why should we give thanks to God? We give thanks to God because he is God! We give him thanks because of his infinite powers, the honour of his name, his greatness, his almighty nature and miraculous works. God deserves our gratitude for life and existence… for his endless goodness, faithfulness and unconditional love for us. The Bible enjoins us to give thanks to God of gods whose faithful love endures forever. We give thanks to God for His greatness and His miracles: 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 : “Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his miracles”.

Now, what has God done to deserve our gratitude? Here are a few. These will also help us “count His blessings one by one”…and discover the depth of his love and kindness to us. We thank God:

  • For life. We are alive today by his grace.
  • For food, shelter, protection, provision and sound mind. We can think and make choices because of his grace.
  • For family, parents, siblings, uncles, aunties, nieces and nephews, friends, colleagues, associates, etc
  • For good health, for good body, hands, legs, head, nose, for your ear, for being able to talk, hear, listen, feel…go to toilet and excrete, to wee when due, to smile, to frown, etc
  • For material possessions, our clothes, our shoes, our sandals, our cars, our beds, our tables, our phones, etc.
  • For our educational qualifications, our jobs, our businesses, our circle of friends, our vocations.
  • For our environment…for the beautiful weather, the beautiful skies, plants, flowers, etc.
  • For the peace we enjoy in our community, society and the world, for absence of wars…. Yes, there are wars but it could be worse!
  • For the Church, for ability to express our faith and for sane mind to contemplate “being thankful to God”; for ability to pray and receive.
  • For being alive; for not dying while in the womb, for not dying at infancy and living up to the present age….
  • Name the rest!

We must give thanks to God for more blessings. God increases his blessings on those who are grateful, those who recognize his power and do his will. People who know that God is the owner and possessor of everything express their inner gratefulness for good health, knowledge, wisdom, love and for position. People, who acknowledge God’s power over their affairs and fate, accept their human weaknesses and in humility give God thanks for whatever good that comes their way. They make thanksgiving a way of life! It is evident that the more we give thanks to God, the more we experience his kindness, goodness, mercy and compassion. It is therefore imperative that we give God thanks in all and every situation, even under harshest conditions.

When people are not grateful they tend to complain about their situations. They take other God’s blessing for granted. What happens? God is hears it and get displeased with them. “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it” (Numbers 11:1). So the Lord hears when we complain and it displeases him. Also, without gratitude, we become arrogant and self-centered. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts. It reminds us of how much we do have. We tend to focus on what we don’t have. By giving thanks continually we are reminded of how much we do have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for the circumstances we don’t like. We can grieve and still be thankful. We can hurt and still be thankful. When we purpose in our hearts to thank God for everything and every aspect of our lives, we keep bitterness at bay and avoid harmful emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace of God (that comes from knowing that God is with us in all situations). He who is grateful cannot be bitter at the same time! We thank God for sustenance in times of hardship and misfortune. We thank Him for His promise that “all things will work together for the good, to those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Praise God! Thank God for this.