Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; God's love endures forever (Psalm 106:1)
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5:18)
Autumn. I love this time of the year. I love the changing colors (though mostly I have to go somewhere else to see the fall colors since the pine trees that are so ubiquitous to our area are pretty much always green). I love the crisp, cool, dry air. I love how the blue of the sky seems to intensify with the cooler temperatures. I love that the gatherings of friends and families that begin in November and make their way into December.
I love Thanksgiving.
In many ways, the Thanksgiving holiday is a forgotten holiday – at least commercially. The retailers jump from Halloween directly to Christmas. But that's okay, because it means that Thanksgiving is a bit of a quieter holiday. I like the quiet, because it gives us an opportunity to focus on the reason for the holiday: to give thanks to God.
Giving thanks to God is one of the most basic expressions of faith. And yet, how many of us practice it with enough regularity? How many of us start each day by thanking God for the day as a gift and an opportunity – a gift, in that it is a new day in which we have been given life; and an opportunity in that each day presents a chance for us to use the day to serve God and love God?
I recently made a search of the term “give thanks” on a Bible search engine. Of the twenty-seven times that phrase appears as an exhortation or personal commitment (e.g., “Give thanks to the Lord” or “I will give thanks to God”), the reason for giving thanks that was cited more than any other reason is this: “for his (God's) love endures forever.” Eleven of the twenty-seven times the writer exhorts us to give thanks, it is simply because of God's eternal, steadfast, unconditional love.
When you think of it, why do we need any other reason to give thanks to God? Isn't God's love enough?
You see, God's love is the source of every blessing you and I receive – blessings which, on a daily basis are far too numerous for us to count. God's love is reason for comfort in the midst of trial and tribulation. God's love is the reason for hope in the midst of despair. God's love is cause for joy and happiness. God's love is our inspiration to love – to love God, and to love our neighbor, and to love one another. God's love is the basis for our hope of eternal life.
Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.
Life is so much better when gratitude informs our perspective. Start each day with gratitude. Fill each day with gratitude. End each day with gratitude.
Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this God's will for you in Christ Jesus.