When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, two amazing things happen in our lives. The first is we receive salvation. Our sins are forgiven and instead of being separated from God we receive the gift of salvation that promises us eternal life and heaven. John 1:12 reminds us with this promise, “To all who received Him, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, who believed on His name, God has given the rights to become children of God.”
A second miracle happens when we receive Jesus. We are born again, where the Spirit of God begins to live in us and begins to transform us from the inside out. And so the Apostle Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:12-15, “as God’s chosen holy and beloved.” we begin to take on the qualities of “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and love.”
But there is one quality in this long list of fruits in Colossians 3 that should also be part of a believer’s life, and that is thanksgiving. So important is this quality that Paul mentions it three times in vs. 15-17. As we “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, be thankful,” as we “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly through teaching and admonishment… “Let us give thanks in hearts to God,” with singing and praise.
“And whatever we do, let us do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” So here is the big question: if thanksgiving is to be a key part of our lives, why do we struggle so much with it? Why instead of thanksgiving, are our hearts so filled with grumbling, complaining and an absence of joy?
I think there are several reasons we struggle, but probably the primary reason is our inability to walk by faith, instead of believing what God has promised in His word. Our tendency is to fill our hearts and minds with worry, anger and despondency about life’s circumstances, instead of God's promises of provision and peace. Instead of our hearts being steadfast with eyes on the Lord, we are tempted to see only our pain and as a result we lack thanksgiving and joy in our hearts.
As we prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving next week, let our hearts overflow with thanks, not because we may be having a hiatus on our problems or a spat of good circumstances, but because of God's promises to take care of us. So whatever circumstance we are rested in the Lord knowing He is good, and that is something to be thankful for.