When we understand what God has done for each of us to redeem and make us right before him, it is impossible to be ungrateful. Paul said, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in Him, having been firmly built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7). When you are thankful for Jesus and your salvation in Him, you demonstrate that you get it—you understand the magnitude of what happened when you got saved. Thanksgiving is the proper response when you understand that you were once lost, but now in Christ you have been found.
Do you remember the parable Jesus taught about the woman who had ten coins and lost one. She lit every lamp in the house. She swept the floor searching for the one lost coin. The Bible says that she did not stop searching until she found it. Think about what she did when she found her lost coin, “…she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’” (Luke 15:9). Joyous thanksgiving is what happens when you think about how Jesus saved you from those hopeless days when you were lost. No one fusses about finding a precious treasure. Listen to what Jesus said, “I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Thanksgiving is not only a precious commodity here on earth, it is a quality from heaven in which we can participate.
Henry Ward Beecher said, “Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude.” The Psalmist expressed thanksgiving in the context of worship, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).
Be thankful this week. Be thankful for God’s blessings. Be thankful for your salvation—it cost Jesus everything. Be thankful for your family and for your health. A good exercise would be to make a list of everything you can think of for which you are thankful. It will surprise you how long your list will be. You are never more spiritual than when you are thankful. Let the joy of thanksgiving flood your heart today and all week long.