Thanksgiving is indeed a wonderful holiday that is celebrated now in many countries. It is a holiday that by definition, reminds us to take time and consider what we are thankful for. While this is great, now that Thanksgiving is over, let us remember that we need to be a people that have a lifestyle of thankfulness and gratitude.
“And whatever you do, whether in word of deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:17)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, bring watchful and thankful.” (Col. 4:2)
“Be joyful always, pray continuously; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
In the hustle and bustle and busyness of life, it is always good to take time out, to sit down and reflect on the goodness of God. To take time to consider His character, His works, answered prayer etc. Unless we make a decision to do this, we can continue to get caught up in the fast lane. We were so privileged to hear people share at church this past Sunday, with hearts of deep gratitude towards God, some of the things things they are so thankful for. But in way of encouragement to develop a lifestyle of thankfulness and thanksgiving, let us look at 1 Chronicles 16:7-36.
We read in this passage plus 1 Chronicles 15:15-19 at least five elements of true thanksgiving. This takes place after David had brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem. It is interesting to note that people’s attitude of joy and adoration as they did this, and particularly the action of David, who was willing to look foolish in the eyes of some people in order to express his thankfulness to God fully and honestly. The five elements of true thanksgiving are:
- Uninhibited praise:
- Though “joyful song” (1 Chron. 15:16)
- Through “musical instruments” (1 Chron. 15:16)
- Through “rejoicing” (1 Chron. 15:25)
2. Remembering what God has done. (1 Chron. 16:12)
3. Telling others about it by:
- “Making known among the nations what He has done” (1 Chron. 16:8)
- “Proclaiming His salvation day after day: (1 Chron. 16:23)
- “Declaring His glory…” (1 Chron. 16:24)
4. Showing God’s glory to others, as seen in who He is and what He has done:
- “Declare His glory” (1 Chron. 16:24)
- “He is to be feared above all gods.” (1 Chron. 16:25)
- “Splendor and majesty are before Him” (1 Chron. 16:27)
- “Strength and joy in His dwelling place” (1 Chron. 16:27)
5. Offering gifts: (1 Chron. 16:29)
- of our time
- of our resources
- or our material goods
- of our money
I would encourage us all to take time to reflect of our own conscious level of giving thanks. For some, thankfulness has slipped away due the the worries of live. Simply adjust this and come back to that heart of thankfulness. For others, we are thankful in our hearts, but seldom express it in any of the five ways above. Again, this can be simple because we have slipped out of the habit of sharing our gratitude and deep thankfulness to Jesus outwardly. If this is the case, it will require us to become intentional about it and practice thanksgiving until it is part of who we are once again.
Let us give thanks as we serve a great, mighty, faithful, loving and gracious God.