To Whom Do We Rightly Give Thanks?

To Whom Do We Rightly Give Thanks?

When I was a young girl, I remember being pleasantly surprised when I received free clothes from a family friend. They were bright and cute and full of pretty designs. I loved them! I was excited to open the bag and try the clothes on, but then my dad had me stop and reminded me to be thankful first. But more than just saying “thank you” to my family friend, I was instructed to direct my thankfulness to God as well. My dad was teaching me about the Source of my blessings and that He is the One to Whom I rightly owe thanks and gratitude. We want our thankfulness—along with our praise and glory—to always be, first and foremost, to God.

We can rightly give our thanks to God because we recognize that He is the Source of all our blessings. God is our heavenly Father; and as a Father, He wants the best for His children. As His children, we recognize that God provides good things for us.

James 1:17:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 

God’s Word declares that our heavenly Father provides good and perfect gifts for us. We are reminded in Psalms 68:19 that God daily loads us with benefits. Everything good that we have ultimately originates with God. Understanding that God is the Source of all our blessings reminds us that our thanks are due Him. No matter how we may receive good and perfect things in this life, we thank God first and foremost for them, as He is the Supplier and true starting point for each of these blessings.

There are wonderful examples in the Scriptures of men and women who showed their thankfulness to God, giving Him the glory. One such example is King David. He faced great challenges in his life, yet he recognized what God had done for him and vowed to sing praise and give thanks to Him forever.

Psalms 30:11,12:
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

From many of the psalms, we can glean that David made his lifestyle one of praise and thanks to God. Despite the difficulties in his life, from season to season he recognized the profit in thanking God. David decided to turn his thoughts to God and remember His loving-kindness and tender care. Likewise, we can choose to give God our thanks in all situations of life, and we can do so wholeheartedly.

Another example from the Scriptures is Jesus Christ, who is truly our greatest example to follow. He carried out his Father’s will and faithfully gave thanks to God. During Jesus Christ’s ministry, he had a practice of turning to his heavenly Father to receive guidance and to express thankfulness. With big needs or small, Jesus knew God was the One to thank for meeting his needs and the needs of others. When Jesus was faced with feeding thousands, having only a few loaves of bread and a few fishes, he turned to God.

Matthew 15:36-38:
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

Even during his last supper with his beloved disciples, Jesus taught them again to give thanks to God. He took the time to express his thankfulness to his heavenly Father (Luke 22:17,19).

Like Jesus Christ and King David, we are to recognize God as the Supplier of all that is good in our lives. He is the One Who has met our every need. Our thanks are due Him. I am grateful to my dad for teaching me how to take the time to thank God for all the good in my life. And it’s never too late for any of us to start building this wonderful habit! No matter the situation or the size of the blessing in our lives, we choose to express our thankfulness to God first and foremost.

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