Today is Thanksgiving Day. A day designated towards giving thanks. I think it is a shame that we need to designate a day to remind us to give thanks. Giving thanks to God should be part of our daily interaction with Him. I have stated on numerous occasions that there is a difference between thanking God and praising Him. Praise is the acknowledgement of God as God while thanksgiving toward God is in response to what God has done but also thanking Him for what He will do no matter the outcome.
Jesus provided the example for us of thanking God the Father for His response before the request was even made. The story of Jesus raising of Lazarus from the dead provides the backdrop for His action. Jesus arrived four days after His friend Lazarus had passed. Jesus gave the instructions for the stone covering the tomb to be rolled aside. Martha who was the pragmatist in the family was concerned about the smell associated with her brothers decaying body so she said to Jesus “by this time he stinketh” according to the King James translation of Scripture. Jesus’ response was that God’s glory would soon be evident. Then Jesus prays to God the Father beginning the prayer with the words “Thank you.”
Jesus as the perfect example for us models how we should view the concept of thanksgiving with God. We need to understand that God is Sovereign and Just. He is good all the time because that is the characteristic of His nature. If we truly believe that fact, we can thank Him in advance of our request because we have absolute trust in His goodness.
Today as you gather with family and friends around a meal together and share what you are thankful for may you consider praising God for who He is, acknowledging Him as God which in turn will allow you to thank Him before you even make a request knowing that the Creator God is truly good. May you have a joyous day of giving thanks in honor of our good, good God whose goodness doesn’t change no matter the outcome of His response to your prayers.
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