As the Psalmist reminds us, it is always good to give thanks to the Lord, not just during the eleventh month of each year. Yet still I am very grateful (pun intended) for this annual designated time to be mindful of all that has transpired this year and give God thanks for it–the good and the hard!
All it takes to get in the spirit of thanksgiving is to pause and reflect on the cross. All that Christ did–and who can actually fathom what He endured?–was for this undeserving, rebellious God-hater who had no hope in this world! And then the unbelievable happened. Paul Tripp says it this way in his thanksgiving devotional:
“The sacrifice of Jesus appeased the wrath of God and created a reconciliation between God and all who place their faith in him. Since God hates sin, the only way we sinners could have a relationship with him is by Christ giving his life to pay the penalty for our sin. You don’t need to obey to gain God’s favor. Christ has gained God’s favor on your behalf. So your obedience is never a fearful payment, but a hymn of gratitude to a God who met you where you were and did for you what you could not have done for yourself.”
May we not pack up gratitude with the fall decor, or let thankfulness sit idle like the turkey roaster til next November. But rather, with humble hearts let us remember that “it is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 92:1)
I love how one of my Dominican friends prayed with me recently:
“My deepest prayer is that we would seek Him, Christ, and know Him better in spite of our feelings, unfulfilled desires, sinfulness, struggles, lack of faith… May He graciously guide and teach us so that we might glory only in knowing Him more, knowing Him better and loving Him with all our hearts.”