Nov 24

A Thankful Thanksgiving

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Meditation

Thankfulness is a deeply Christian thing.

We have come to terms with what we deserve: we deserve the just wrath of God. And yet we have come to know this God in a saving way. We deserve death, but we know eternal life. We deserve the curse, but we have every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

And while there is suffering in this life – even very great suffering – we can say with the apostle Paul, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). We can ask the best rhetorical question ever, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). And we can be sure of the boldest promise, “that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).

All of those words are true. We have everything we need if we have the love of Christ, and the Christian life is one of growing in the deep conviction that these precious promises are true (2 Peter 1:3-4).

So what shall we give to God for all of this?

There are many answers to that question. Thankfulness is certainly one of them. Here, the book of Psalms gives us some helpful language for our prayers: “What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? . . .I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:12, 17).

As those who belong to Christ, we can pray this prayer, for we have known the the benefits of the Lord.

Ryan touched on this subject in two sermons he preached a little over a year ago at the start of his series through the book of Colossians. In, “Thank God for Gospel Growth,” and “Our Prayers, God’s Priorities,” Ryan preached from Colossians 1:3-8 and 1:9-14, helping us grasp some of the reasons for thankfulness and the importance of thankfulness in the Christian life.