How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving All Year

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday…thanksgiving is a way of life and it’s a choice.

Thanks for Salvation

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular American holidays of all, but we shouldn’t limit our times of thanksgiving to just one day. Christians should be the most thankful people on the planet! Jesus died for us while we were still wicked, ungodly enemies of God (Rom 5:6-10). None of us were worthy to be saved, but God gave us what we didn’t deserve (His grace) while not giving us what we did deserve, and that’s wrath. That’s mercy! God made the first move. He loved you and me before we ever loved Him. That’s how we must love others…not giving them what they deserve (payback) but what they need (mercy).

God has always been a Giver; and how much more can you give when “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)? If we fully realize just how great a salvation we have, and that we “were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet 1:18-19), we’d be more thankful. That truth should compel us to be even more thankful. The Apostle Paul wrote that “the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor 9:12).

Taking up your cross daily

We were redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.

Thanks for Answered Prayers

It was only after God spared Jonah’s life that he suddenly appreciated being alive. Immediately after the fish vomited Jonah onto the shore, the said to God, “I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9)! What made Jonah so thankful was just before this, he cried out in prayer that, “my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7), and in praying to God, he finally understood that “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9c)! God heard disobedient Jonah’s prayer, so we should “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6).

We should take God at His Word, for He cannot lie, and Paul says, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). Christians must seek the Lord and seek after His righteousness (Matt 6:33), meaning we make godly choices and avoid sinful practices, so “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph 5:4).

Thanks as Offerings

Thanksgiving is in the Bible. Really! It is…but it’s not exactly the same. The psalmist says to God’s people to “let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22)! The Bible states as a fact that our giving thanks to God, both in prayer and in public, is the same as our making a freewill offering to God, but don’t head for the sheep pen for the sacrifice; head for the prayer closet. The psalmist wrote, “I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:17), so let us “offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings” (Amos 4:5) to Him. The Apostle Paul told the Church at Colossae to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2), and “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23). Let us rejoice before our God and join together our voices and sing, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).

Thanks for Others

Giving Thanks in all circumstances

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 1:4), and that’s a great habit to get into. When a man offered support for our prison ministry, I sent him a thank you card, and said, “Thank you for your gift but also, I thank God for you.” It’s biblical to thank God for others in the Body of Christ and particularly, to their face, but certainly to others. Paul wrote, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (2 Thess 1:3), and to Timothy, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Tim 2:1). Later, this great Apostle of the Gentiles said, “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God” (1 Thess 3:9). The Apostle Paul was possibly the most thankful man in the New Testament (except for Jesus, Who is both God and Man).

Conclusion

Let me conclude by praying the same thing that Paul prayed for the Church at Colossae. I pray for you, the readers (lost or saved), praying, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Col 1:3), and I am thanking God for you now right now, you the reader. It doesn’t matter if I know you are not, but I pray above all that you will trust in the Savior today and be spared the coming wrath of God on unrepentant sinners (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8), so in closing, I will say again, I “always thank God for you…and pray for you” (Col 1:3), the readers. It doesn’t matter if I know you or not. God knows you and that’s all that matters. He is waiting for you to come to Him right now (Matt 11:28-30). I thank God for the Son of God too (John 3:16), so thanking people and thanking God are not only right….they are the will of God, so thanksgiving should be a way of life for all of us.

Bible Verses For Thank You Cards

Let us give thanks in everything (1 Thess 5:18).

Closing Prayer

It is our prayer here at What Christians Want to Know and Telling Ministries, that we reflect upon the many things that God has blessed us with; family, friends, shelter, jobs, and above all, our salvation (Eph 2:8-9). Lord, let us also give thanks for all the good things You have blessed us with and done for us, including our salvation through Jesus Christ, so let us all remember that we should give thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day. In Jesus’ Holy Name I pray, Amen.

Here is some related reading for you: Thanksgiving Bible Verses: 15 Great Scripture Quotes

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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