Written by: Tim Wood
He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me (Psalm 50:23)
Charles Dickens once said that we are somewhat mixed up here in America. Instead of having just one day set aside for Thanksgiving Day each year, he said, we should have 364. "Use one day just for complaining and griping. Use the other 364 days to thank God for the many blessings he has showered upon you."
I think he’s right. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day to celebrate, it’s a lifestyle to employ. We honor God when we offer Him thanks. Additionally, thanksgiving is a sacrifice. We are to offer thanks when we don’t feel like it. We are to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Dickens is right. Grumble less and thank God more.
God takes a complaining attitude seriously. The best-case study for this is the Israelites making their exodus from Egypt. They consistently complained about God’s miraculous provision and protection and it cost them 40 years of wandering.
Developing a heart of gratitude is essential to growing a stronger faith. As John Piper stated in his book A Godward Life, "If we do not believe that we are deeply dependent on God for all we have or hope to have, the very spring of gratitude and faith runs dry."
Make the choice today to take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, gratefully acknowledging who God is and what He is doing. Deny yourself the right to complain, embracing instead the deep-seated joy of thanksgiving... in all things. Every day be grateful to God. It’s good for your soul.