The choice to give thanks, is just that, a choice we make. Sometimes we need a nevertheless, defiant spirit that pushes back against the tidal wave of complaining and ingratitude we often see around us. The kind of spirit we see in the prophet Habakkuk: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Let's be honest, we all have challenges in our life that can cause us to lose our perspective, to focus on the negative and lose sight of the incredible blessings we have in Christ. The words of the Apostle Paul remind us: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) We are a much blessed people! But sometimes, like little children we need to be reminded, 'what do you say'? What do you say when God pours out an unexpected blessing, when you receive an answer to prayer, a gracious provision; when you are given strength or courage or wisdom. What do you say when you are ambushed by His love and kindness?
Sometimes the simplest and most deeply felt expressions of our worship come through the simple words 'thank you'. Thank you for the measure of health and strength I've been given. Thank you for a comfortable home, for food on the table and clothes in the closet. Thank you for so many nice things we enjoy in this life. Thank you for family and friends; for a church family and the joy of doing life together. Thank you for saving grace, for the forgiveness we have in Christ, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the truth of His Word and the hope that is ours in Christ--hope in this life and the sure hope of heaven. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
My friends at Valley, when you pause this Thanksgiving weekend to ponder all the blessings we have in in the Lord, what are you going to say?
I cannot speak for you, but as for me...I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. (Jonah 2:9) I will give thanks to my Lord, for He has been good to me!