Column: Giving Thanks Every Day
Published 9:37 am Tuesday, November 14, 2023
By Hank Walker | Pastor at Friendship Baptist Church
As I have grown older, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday to celebrate. Instead of the commercialism that has come to mark Christmas and Easter, Thanksgiving is an uncomplicated day to rest, enjoy family, eat a lot of delicious food, watch a little football, and take a long nap. Notwithstanding the recently invented phenomenon of Black Friday, Thanksgiving is a day to slow down, reflect on blessings, enjoy the ones you love, and, well—give thanks.
In this cynical age, where people are angry, anxious, and angst-ridden, giving thanks might just be what the doctor ordered! In fact, for those who believe that God has something to say to us in the Bible, being grateful and giving thanks is not a suggestion; it is a command!
Consider the following biblical admonitions about thankfulness:
Toward the end of the apostle Paul’s life, he warns his disciple, Timothy, “that in the last days, perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy… Avoid such people!” (2 Tim. 1-2, 5c). You read that correctly; the Word puts being unthankful on par with being proud, unholy, and blasphemous!
Moreover, when the same apostle wrote his letter to the Romans explaining that the unbelieving world is condemned and “without excuse” before God, he avers that in addition to God’s “invisible attributes” being clearly seen in nature, man displays all the symptoms of spiritual death, describing unregenerate people who, “did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:20-21). Meditate on that for a moment; if you are not thankful, you might not even be saved!
Conversely, when we are overwhelmed with the world’s troubles and, too often, our own self-inflicted wounds, we are given instructions that will help put us back where we ought to be:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).
Soli Deo Gloria