Tis the season when the most oft asked question is, “What are you thankful for?” I think we’ve somehow missed the point of thanksgiving and gratitude when we reduce thanksgiving to simply a list of things we’re glad we have. You hear it as well. “I’m thankful for my family, my health, my country, my freedom, my dog, my provisions, etc.” Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong at all with being thankful for these things and more. But simply acknowledging the things that I’m glad I have is not thanksgiving.
You see, true gratitude is biblical. It’s so ironic that there are atheists, irreligious and practical pagans all over the country who will acknowledge or celebrate Thanksgiving this week in some way never realizing that the attitude of gratitude is 100% biblical. Makes me laugh under my breath slightly. So if gratitude is biblical, then we must look to the Bible for its definition and examples of its true expression. And here is what we discover about thankfulness when we open the scripture. True biblical thankfulness is never about merely listing your blessings. True gratitude ALWAYS expresses thanksgiving to the one who is responsible for our blessings. Thanksgiving is not about the what but the who. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds (Psalm 57:9-10).
Do you recognize today that “every good and perfect gift comes down from the father of lights” (James 1:17)? It doesn’t matter who you are, there is nothing you have that God has not given to you. Your blessings are not the result of your goodness, charm, ability, capability or strength. It doesn’t matter what you believe or if you believe in anything at all. This one fact remains. A good, loving, sovereign, holy Creator holds you and your life in the palm of His hands, and every good thing and even the bad things which God uses for good are His blessings to you.
This Thanksgiving, rather than naming your blessings, give thanks to one responsible for your blessings.