Personal Reasons to be Thankful
It would take easily three pages for me to list my personal reasons for being thankful. I could fill those pages with my family and friends. I am so blessed with such a loving family and friends that this alone is reason enough for me to be thankful. I have a lovely, godly wife, two wonderful daughters, a hero son who is with Jesus, a godly son-in-law, a precious grandson, a loving church family, and an extended family spread throughout America.
My wife and children make me want to be a better man; to be the godliest man they know. I feel this way because I know what an incredible blessing and privilege it is to have a family. King Solomon put it best:
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
And the Psalmist teaches:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
Solomon also said that:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Let your family and friends know how thankful you are for them and let them know how much you love them. They will never grow tired of hearing it because I’m sure they don’t hear it enough. I can’t imagine ever saying that too much to my loved ones.
How about your home, you thankful for it? If not, imagine the alternative. How would you feel to be without a home for Thanksgiving? Now am I saying this to make you feel guilty for those that do not have a home? No, I say this to remind you that your home is a gift and we should never take it for granted.
We could be like the Apostle Paul was for a time:
“To the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.” (1 Corinthians 4:11)
Paul wrote this to remind the Corinthian church to guard against becoming proud and arrogant. So many people today believe that everything they have is because of their hard work. Your hard work did have something to do with your station in life, but we are blessed by God Almighty with all we have. Psalm 128:1-2 reminds us:
“Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.”
Are you thankful for your job? Again, try the alternative. Would you rather be standing in line to cash your check from the job you may hate or would you rather be standing in the unemployment line? Are you a grumbler at work or an encourager? Paul wrote to the Colossian church:
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Colossians 3:17, 23)
Let’s give thanks to God for providing us the means and the abilities to work for a living.
Natural Reasons to be Thankful
Go find a Bible and open it to the very first verse.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
I am thankful for Earth’s beginning. God took it upon Himself to personally speak the Earth into existence. He made a point of creating this magnificent universe we live in.
Now I know that many believe in evolution, but whether you’re an evolutionist or a creationist, you have to believe in one. There is no indisputable evidence to support 100% either point of view. You have to go on faith. Guess what? God gets my vote.
Just look at the beauty of the Earth. If you think this planet was created by some random, spasmodic act of nature, go the Alps and try out that explanation with the local folks. You’ll get laughed out of town. King Hezekiah acknowledged to God:
“O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” (2 Kings 19:15).
Take some time to enjoy nature and the marvels that God has created. You can’t help but be thankful!
When you look at your table and gaze at the wonderful feast, make sure you realize how much of the food you’re about to eat was grown and that the turkey (alas!), ate grain. King David reminded his people of the Promised Land that God had provided:
“Your congregation dwelt in it; You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.” (Psalm 68:10)
It is God who created the earth in the beginning and in its beauty, and it is through God’s creation of the earth that we are provided for with all we need.
Spiritual Reasons to be Thankful
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6)
That’s the last verse in the Book of Psalms. Who should praise the Lord? Everything that has breath; I believe that includes you and me. Not enough reason? What about forgiveness?
David, whom knew a lot about sin, wrote:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2).
Having our guilt removed because of God’s forgiveness would be enough to be thankful, but God does more than remove our guilt; He gives us salvation. In his song, Zechariah prophesied about his son John the Baptist’s mission:
“To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins.” (Luke 1:77)
So why did God provide us salvation through forgiveness of our sins? Because He loves us! Jesus told Nicodemus:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
The greatest reason to be thankful is for our salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus sent out the Seventy before Him to spread the word about Him:
“Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17).
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Tomorrow in Part Three each of you will get the chance to answer the question: “Can You Rejoice?”
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Copyright © 2009 David Jeffers