Thanksgiving is inching near. The reunion of families, joyful celebrations of God’s goodness, and the stories of those who have passed will fill the tables.
Others may be alone, drinking the holiday away or simply going through another day.
While we celebrate or observe Thanksgiving differently, we should all cultivate thankful hearts. In our last post, we briefly discussed cultivating thankful hearts. In this post we are going to discuss the Reasons for thankfulness.
Why should we cultivate thankfulness? Now, at the outset of this we must acknowledge that many of us have experienced situations that are difficult, painful, and even life-altering. The loss of a loved one, physical health issues, and other factors are a natural part of life in a fallen world. These create barriers to thankful hearts because they often drown out the goodness of God (not unlike Job’s experiences).
With that acknowledgement, however, we must recognize the “good hand of [our] God,” as Nehemiah would say (see Neh. 2:8). We should cultivate thankfulness for God’s goodness because God is good. The psalmist writes, “You are good and do good” (Psalm 119:68). We should cultivate a heart of thankfulness to reflect our acknowledge of God’s goodness, His essence.
We should also cultivate thankfulness because it is commanded. We noticed this last week, but the only proper response to God’s goodness is to be thankful. Every breath that we breathe is a gift of God (see Dan. 5:23). More than life, He gives us all things richly to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). He gives us eyes to see the beauty of creation. He gives us smell to enjoy the wonders of a Cinnamon roll. He gives us taste to enjoy the crisp bite of an apple. He gives us touch to feel the soft cheek of a baby. All these and more are the gifts God in heaven has provided, and we respond with thanksgiving.
Another reason we should cultivate thankfulness is that it is an acknowledgment of God’s and our place. Psalm 139:13-16 details the creative wonder of God. That is, God gave David life, exquisitely designed by God Himself.
God is the one who gave life, David was the result. God is also, as we have already observed, is the one who gives us the pleasant things in life. In other words, God is God and we are not. We should cultivate thankfulness because this is true.
While there are a host of other reasons we could examine, we understand that there are many reasons we should cultivate thankfulness. All of them stem from the basic truth of Scripture: God is God, humans are not. We are the recipients of God’s goodness, and the natural and biblical response is thankfulness.