“You will be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God… Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” II Corinthians 9: 11, 15.
Gratitude to God is a natural overflow of generosity. The gift of His salvation through Christ is indescribable! He gave when we did not deserve. He still gives, even though we are undeserving. His gift of liberty is freeing. His gift of health is healing. His gift of relationships is rich. His gift of peace is calming. His gift of wisdom is confidence. His gift of the Holy Spirit is comforting. His gift of finances is security. His gift of himself is reassuring and humbling.
Gratitude explodes from our hearts when we are reminded of His generous gifts. They are incomparable and incomprehensible! Thanksgiving to God is a tremendous opportunity to unleash joy. This is one of the fruits of gratitude. We have “Joy, joy, joy, joy down in our hearts,” because He came to earth and into our hearts. This is an occasion for a righteous, even raucous, celebration.
Gratitude to God can be a moment-by-moment expression. Even in the middle of the worst of circumstances, your thanksgiving to God is appropriate and needed. Look beyond your current condition to your heavenly hope. He has prepared a place for you, and His preparations are not shabby! They are just what you need and desire.
So, your thanksgiving is for what He has done in the past, His current provision, and what He has prepared for you in the future! God’s generosity is without competition. His liberality in giving wins out every time. You can be very, very grateful for this. Let thanksgiving escape from your lips often. Use it to put out the fires of fear and worry before they spread too far. Thanks be to God, for you are made rich!
Yes, in Christ you are made rich. You have everything needed for this life in Christ. As a consequence of your management of His riches, you can be ridiculously generous. This is the natural result of thanksgiving. Because of your deep gratitude to God, you are called and compelled to give. Gratitude invites you to generosity. You cannot experience authentic thanksgiving and not see it birth giving. It is a beautiful process. Because God has given to you, you give to others. At the moment you receive the gift of God, generosity is conceived in your heart.
This is why your heart feels pregnant with thanksgiving. It will explode without the regular birthing of generosity to others. This expression of gratitude results in action. It is tangibly and regularly giving to people for whom Christ died. The poor need food, a job and Jesus. Orphans need parents, a home and Jesus. Divorcees need acceptance, healing and Jesus. The angry ones need gentleness and Jesus. The confused need clarity and Jesus. The bankrupt need financial wholeness and Jesus.
The opportunities abound that invite your generous expression of gratitude. Gratitude is one of God’s prescriptions for discontentment. The two cannot comfortably co-exist. Thanksgiving keeps the credit for your accomplishments on God and others. Without either you would not be in your current position of influence and success. Gratitude is generous. Gratitude is content. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
As the weather turns colder and the colors of the landscape change around us, most Americans are probably looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving Day with friends and family. They’ll carve a big turkey and make the dressing. They’ll fix the cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, string beans, and pie, and then say a blessing. But as wonderful as it is to celebrate holiday traditions with loved ones, thanksgiving in the life of a believer is bigger, and more important, than a single day.
Listen to what the psalmist wrote: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalms 92:1). Consider also the apostle Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians, and to us: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). Neither passage indicates that we should save our gratitude for a particular day or season, but instead, both teach that we should express it constantly, in our speech and through our actions.
For those of us who have been chosen to follow Christ, giving thanks should be a way of life every day of the year. Give thanks for all the blessings you’ve received, but most of all for the gift of life—both on earth and in eternity. Each morning as you rise to face the day and each evening as you go to bed, give thanks to God for creating you and for delivering you from the power of sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
I will say it again, together with the psalmist: It is good to give thanks to the Lord—in November and all year long. May God bless you greatly as you seek and serve Him daily.
By faith I keep pressing on!