Does Giving Thanks Matter?
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! “
(Psalm 118:1, ESV)
One day a week I deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors in a nearby community. If I am totally honest, the meals do not look very appetizing. But I am humbled by the grateful attitude of these seniors, as they thank me week after week. I rarely hear a single complaint about the food. Most of these folks have significant medical issues, but they don’t complain about those either. They seem sincerely thankful for each meal delivery.
What a lesson in thankfulness for me, and maybe for you too! I confess there are days that I don’t take time to turn to God and specifically thank Him for all of the blessings in my life, whether big or small. And thanking God for His steadfast love for me? Again, not often.
Does giving thanks really matter? I am reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the ten lepers, as recorded in Luke chapter 17. Only one of the healed lepers turned back and gave thanks to God.
“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.”
When we thank God, maybe even praising Him with a loud voice, we reflect a humble heart of faith toward Him as our Lord and Savior. And I believe God is pleased when we intentionally take the time to give thanks to Him.
Jesus makes a point of recognizing the thankfulness expressed by the one healed leper.
“Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?... Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:18-19)
Jesus’ response suggests a link between this man’s faith in God and his expression of thankfulness to Him. Our thankfulness flows from our faith in God. And just as our faith can grow, so too can our thankfulness.
I am challenging myself, and you as well, to make each day this month of November a “Cornucopia of Thanks”. (Did you know that cornucopia means horn of plenty? It is a symbol of abundance…)
Here are some ideas to get you started:
· Start each morning and end each night praying Psalm 118:1 out loud
· Write down a list of blessings of God, maybe one for each day, that you then give thanks to God for
· Throughout your day, be on the constant look-out for opportunities to thank God and then be generous in speaking words of thanks to others
· Send a card or text to a different person in your life that you will thank God for, and let them know!
· Thank God for a struggle you are walking through, knowing He is working in and through it
I look forward to what God will do in us and through us as we give Him thanks! And I would love to hear from you about it!
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 2:6-7, ESV).