Today is a day when we as a nation especially focus on thankfulness. So many things Americans express thankfulness for are mundane and even silly, but as believers we can devote thankful hearts to the one who did not spare His own Son and has promised along with Him to freely give us all things for our good and His glory. The past few weeks I have been focusing on how many things there are to be thankful for, even in the midst of circumstances that I didn’t enjoy such as my travel schedule or routine disappointments. It has been extremely beneficial and faith-building for me. I’ve been reminded of a quote about thankfulness from Matthew Henry so many years ago. After he was robbed, he wrote this:
“Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
The Bible commands us to be thankful. It can be a little weird to think about it that way because so many times gratitude is a result of our emotions, but when we are disciplined to consider what we truly deserve (in life and in death) thanksgiving becomes a lot easier. Even in difficult circumstances, thankfulness is easy when we remember that God Himself who knew all our days before a single one came to being ordained the exact situation in which we find ourselves. The command to be thankful is not given based on current circumstances, but on past deliverance from sin and the many promises of God we will only experience in the future. If you are a Christian, I pray that as you meditate on the goodness you have already experienced from the Lord, your thankfulness will only be amplified by the truth that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”