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When we are going to say “thank you,” we say “thank you” to somebody. Pausing to express gratitude to a great and mighty God is the reminder of this national holiday. But Thanksgiving is more than a holiday for the grateful believer — it’s a way of life. Bo Baker said: “Thanksgiving is grace dressed in unselfishness, gratitude spelled out in personal concern and character showing its colors like the lovely leaves of fall.”
Thanksgiving is an attitude, a natural part of Christian character. 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “… in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
First, thanksgiving is appropriate in every occasion. “Give thanks” is a command, an imperative. Giving thanks is not an option for the serious Christian. Also, this command is present tense, so the instruction is to keep on giving thanks.
Give thanks in everything …. in all circumstances. Is not saying give thanks for everything, but in connection with everything that happens. In every circumstance, no matter what or where, you can still thank God. That’s God’s imperative to the growing Christian.
Not everything that happens to us is good, but God uses everything that happens to work for our good.
Sometimes we don’t know whether something is good or bad, but we can be thankful God is working for our good in everything.
Not only is thanksgiving appropriate in every occasion, but also: thanksgiving should abound naturally in the life of every growing Christian. Thanksgiving is the natural response to the grace and goodness of a great and wonderful God who cares and provides. Thanksgiving should overflow from the life of the Christian.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and he thankful (Col. 3:15).
“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 (Col. 3:17).
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).
In this Colossians passage ties thanksgiving closely to prayer, as also does in the (1 Thess. 5:17) verse: “Overflowing gratitude springs from a life of continuous, ceaseless prayer”
Thanksgiving should be a natural part of the Christian’s prayer. How can we pray without first giving thanks for all He has done? When we pray thanks, we must also live out thanksgiving with our words and actions.