For us as believers, giving thanks isn’t limited to a special Thanksgiving holiday. We “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). And, it also isn’t limited to simply saying thank you but also showing thanks. We “offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” AND we “do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:15-16).
Showing Thanks Reveals What’s Truly in Our Hearts
How easily we can casually say “thank you” and not really mean it. We might “enter His gates with thanksgiving” (Ps. 100:4-5) but then live the rest of the week griping and complaining about all that’s wrong with our lives.
Verbal expressions of gratitude and praise to God for what He has done for us are important but He is most pleased when we take it to the next step of showing our thanksgiving. When we live like grateful people, we tend to rise above the fray of life and think about others and their needs rather than focus on ourselves.
A Thanksgiving Prayer
A very important part of Hebrews 13:15-16 quoted above was not included. These verses begin, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise …”. On our own we tend to be self-centered, but as recipients of His mercy and grace, we have motivation to look beyond ourselves.
This prayer by Samuel F. Pugh says it well:
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Let’s ask God to help us get beyond simply saying thanks to showing thanks.