Here in the US, tomorrow is the day that we call Thanksgiving. It is a day set apart to thank God for who He is and what He has done in our lives. The Bible is filled with passages that remind us to be thankful. Why do we need these reminders? Because we are selfish and narrow-minded and we sometimes forget the constant flow of goodness and mercies that God pours out on us! As Paul writes in Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” We can know God and yet forget to thank Him. And the result: we begin to have futile thinking and eventually, dark hearts. Do you want a dark heart? I sure don’t! Today, let’s listen to two passages that can help us to be more thankful; one from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever. (Psa. 136:1-4, 23-26)
In our first passage, we learned that God’s will for us is to always be thankful. We don’t have to always like what is happening in our lives, but we can always be thankful for God’s Presence with us in every circumstance. Want to know what God’s will is for you today? Be thankful. Tomorrow? Be thankful! In our second passage, we get a chance to express our thanksgiving. The entire Psalm is a poem of thanks to God. Why should we be thankful? According to this Psalm, He is the God of all gods. He does mighty miracles. He saves us from our enemies. He gives us food. He cares for us in our weakness. And because, as we hear again and again, His faithful love endures forever. The words “faithful love” in these passages is translated from the Hebrew word “chesed.” This word is unlike any word we have in English and is translated variously as love, loving kindness, mercy, covenant love, and faithful love. In fact, the word chesed is translated into over 30 additional words in scripture. In other words, there are over three dozen ways to describe the love that God demonstrates for you and for me every day and night of our lives.
Today, tomorrow on Thanksgiving, and everyday, give thanks to the Lord…for His chesed endures forever!