The Bible has a lot to say about thankfulness.
Failing to give thanks to God as God is one of the primary marks of unbelief (Romans 1:21). Being ungrateful to God is also a hallmark of the ungodly in these last days (2 Timothy 3:2).
Ephesians 5:20 says that we should be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that we are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
That being the case, clearly we all have a LOT to be thankful for!
Psalm 136 is an extended psalm of thanksgiving. No less than four (4) times the writer tells us to “Give thanks” to the LORD (v.1), to the God of gods (v.2), to the Lord of lords (v.3), and to the God of heaven (v.26).
And what is the specific thing about the LORD that we are to be thankful for in this Psalm? Twenty-six (26) times (once for every verse of the Psalm!) he repeats the refrain, “for His steadfast love endures forever.” The steadfast love of the LORD is our greatest cause for thankfulness! The fact that it endures forever should give believers endless cause for thankfulness.
Now look at the “great wonders” (v.4) of the LORD that are attributed to His steadfast love in this Psalm:
- Creating the heavens (v.5)
- Creating the earth (v.6)
- Creating the sun, moon & stars (v.7)
- Creating daytime/sunlight (v.8)
- Creating nighttime/moonlight (v.9)
- Striking down the firstborn of Egypt (v.10)! (That last plague was an act of the steadfast love of God!)
- Rescuing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt (v.11-12)
- Parting the Red Sea to allow Israel to cross (v.13-14)
- Destroying Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea (v.15)
- Leading His people through the wilderness (v.16)
- Conquering the kings of Canaan (v.17-20)
- Giving the Promised Land to Israel (v.21-22)
- Remembering His people in their low estate/exile (v.23-24)
- Giving food to all flesh (v.25)
All of those things are examples of the steadfast love of the LORD for His people. Creation, redemption, protection, victory over enemies, inheritance, provision. That is practically a survey & summary of all of Old Testament history!
And it is also a picture of all that we have in Jesus Christ.
When you sit down to give thanks this Thanksgiving, whether it be alone or with family and friends, take at least a few minutes and remind yourself and those with you of the great wonders that God has done.
And remember that He has done all of those things out of His steadfast love for you in Jesus Christ.
If you give thanks for one thing this Thanksgiving, let it be the steadfast love of the Lord Jesus Christ – His love endures forever!