When counting your blessings, be sure to give thanks for what God has done for you...and for who He is.
When the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in 1621, half their original group had died. Our forebears were able to focus on God’s goodness and mercy even in the midst of trials. Perhaps they took a lesson from Paul and Silas who, while in chains in the prison at Philippi, “prayed, and sang praises unto God” (Acts 16:25). Or perhaps they were simply following the instruction of Philippians 2:5, which says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” It was Christ Who, knowing exactly what lay ahead, gave thanks on the very night in which He was betrayed.
As Christians, we’re called beyond simple thanks for the good things God has sent our way. We’re also to give thanks for what He has done for us...and for who He is.
Scripture gives us so many examples of why we are to be thankful:
We are to be thankful for what God has given us:
1. His “unfailing love” (Psalm 107, numerous verses)
2. His grace “given you in Christ Jesus”
(1 Corinthians 1:4)
3. Victory “through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
4. His “righteous laws” (Psalm 119:62)
5. The faith of others to sustain and cheer us (Philemon 1:4)
We are to be thankful for what God has done:
6. He has “answered me...[and] become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21).
7. He has redeemed us. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
8. He has qualified us “to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12).
We are to be thankful for who God is:
9. “He is good; His love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).
10. He is “faithful and just” (1 John 1:9).
Training our hearts to be thankful does many good things. It gives credit where credit is due. It keeps us from bitterness, arrogance and discouragement. It protects us from letting our lives be defined by what we don’t have. It keeps us humble and reminds us of our need for God.