Op-Ed: A Biblical encouragement for Thanksgiving

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

 

As you prepare to gather with family and friends to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, remember to also saturate your heart and mind in the truth of God’s Word.

The Bible speaks often of the practice of giving thanks. Expressing gratitude to one another for good gifts and selfless actions is an esteemed virtue for the Christian, and it is one simple way that we can “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians. 5:17).

But even more than this, we must continuously express gratitude to God, for all the good gifts He has bestowed on us.

This becomes especially powerful for Christians when realizing what we truly deserve. All of us, under the curse of Adam, deserve God’s complete judgment, both physical and spiritual death. We deserve condemnation and hell for all eternity.

Instead, what have we received?

For me, I have a job that I love (with it a steady income), working with people that I love, in an environment where the spread of the gospel is our main goal. I have a home with heat and food and bedding and clean water. I have a wife and two children, who, outside of my salvation, I would count as my three greatest blessings. I have more things than I need, more than enough clothes, and the blessing of multiple dear friends and family members.

All of this is exceedingly more than I deserve.

But then add on the greatest gift – salvation in Christ. God has looked kindly upon me and has lovingly rescued me from darkness into light through the substitutionary sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus.

I say none of this to brag. Even if I wanted to brag, I could not! How can I boast of my own accomplishments in this list of blessings if I did nothing to earn them?

It is all of God, a gift of pure grace (Ephesians 2:8).

We can do no more than say “Thank you, God.” Therefore, I encourage you, this Thanksgiving and every day, to thank God for the greatest gift, the gift of salvation. If you have salvation in Christ, you have everything.

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us remind ourselves of the great gift of grace given to us, and may we humbly bow before our loving God with a thankful heart.

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.  – Psalm 18:49

 

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.  – Psalm 75:13

 

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  – Psalm 107:1

 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

 

And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.  – Revelation 11:16-17

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