Forasmuch as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of… It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise… — Continental Congress 1777
Giving thanks to God is clearly appropriate, isn’t it? It’s just right to “acknowledge with Gratitude” our dependence on Him for “benefits received.” For those of us who are learning and living the mystery of being “in Christ,” those “benefits received” are amazing. Why wouldn’t we want to thank Him for them all the time?
But giving thanks to God also has some nice side effects for us, too:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
Giving thanks is a major stress buster. You probably have to experience this to truly believe it; but in the middle of your stress, counting blessings makes a big difference. I’m really glad that we have a national day of Thanksgiving here in the U.S.—definitely appropriate. BUT, with meals, travel, relatives, and all, the holiday of Thanksgiving can cause stress. Remember, the act of giving thanks diminishes that stress.
O God of Peace, I stop right now to give You thanks, not just because You deserve it, but because I need it! As I bring my specific requests to You now, fill my mind with the long, long list of things big and small that are Your perfect gifts to me. Above all, thank You for Your Son, for what He did for me, and that I am in Him! Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.