As the remaining leaves find their way off the trees and onto the ground we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a wonderful time for family and friends to gather together around the table, enjoy a great meal and give thanks. As Christians though we know that Thanksgiving is more than just a day, it’s a lifestyle. The Word of God tells us in I Thessalonians 5:18 that “in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The apostle Paul isn’t saying that we have to be thankful FOR the hard places that we sometimes find ourselves in, but he exhorts us to be thankful IN the midst of them. Even in the most difficult times, there are always things we can be thankful for.
In Ephesians chapter 5, we’re admonished to be followers of God as dear children and to walk in love as Christ loves the church. Beginning in verse 3 we are told that there are 6 things that should not be named amongst us – fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness and foolish talking and jesting…but rather giving of thanks. There’s a thought! I would imagine that it would be pretty hard to commit immoral acts of any kind if you are presently giving thanks for who you are and what you have, right where you are at. For instance, how could you lust after someone else or commit adultery when you are saying “Thank you, God for my wonderful wife/husband.” If you are thankful for all God has provided, you’re not likely to be covetous of what belongs to others.
According to Jesus, thankfulness is the barometer of your soul. It’s not your church attendance, prayers, or gifting of your service, although all of these are vitally important. If you want to know where your walk with God is in any given moment of any day, you can ask yourself, honestly from your heart, this question – how thankful am I right now in my present situation. Psalm 100:4b says “be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”