Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, families across our country gather to indulge in turkey, dressing, and all the fixings we have come to love. We gather with family near and far, enjoy time to talk, catchup, and let us be honest, eat too much, watch too much TV, and if we are lucky, take a wonderful nap.

While all of this is great, we often forget about the main purpose of this holiday. Far too often, we forget to spend much of that time being or reflecting on being thankful to our Lord. Without the thanksgiving part, it is just another day but with more family and food.

The importance of being thankful cannot be overestimated in our lives. Do you realize that we are told in Scripture, in one form or another, to be thankful over 170 times? Based on this alone we should see that being thankful is something important to our lives and more importantly, something that is important to our Lord.

He wants us to be thankful for because it builds our relationships in this life. Ungratefulness is destroying our world. Without an honest heartfelt thankfulness for our many blessings, whether that is possessions or people, we continually feel like we need something more just to be happy. If we are unthankful, it erodes the very ties that bind us together and to our Lord. Without a genuine thankfulness for all the good in our lives we cannot appreciate what we already have, and we will never appreciate anything else.

As Christians, saved by God’s grace and mercy, thankfulness should encompass all that we are. Consider just a few passages on this topic.

2 Corinthians 9:8–12 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (ESV)

Ephesians 5:17–21 “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (ESV)

We all have many things to be thankful for this year. We might not have everything we have ever wanted but God has given us far more than we deserve and for that we should be thankful. So, let us make sure that we take some time to gives thanks to our Lord for all His blessings and let us make sure to appreciate and thank those closest to us.

Jeff A.