why do you give thanks?

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good..” (Psalm 7:17a, TLB)

Prayer, perseverance, and a proper understanding of love are all keys to living life with a posture of an ongoing thanksgiving. Yesterday, we also looked at components like rejoicing and giving thanks in all things (note, not for all things) because of the opportunities even bad times grant us for connecting with God and others. Today, I want to take this a step farther in consideration of why we give thanks.

So why do you give thanks? Today’s verse offers a very important clue. We are to give thanks to God because he is righteous, because he is just, because he is good. It’s easy to get caught up in the misnomer that we give thanks for the things God does for us — and make no mistake, God does unspeakably good things — but we are to give thanks for the source of goodness.

James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from God. It is important to remember that the gift isn’t what’s good, but the giver. So when we give thanks to God, it isn’t just because of the good things that he gives, but because he gives out of his goodness.

Rejoicing, praying, perseverance, and properly understanding love are all part of an ongoing thanksgiving. As we give thanks, though, may we focus less on the gift and more on the giver. This is precisely why we are to give thanks, because God is good, and his love endures forever (Psalm 136:1)!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for all you do for me. Forgive me for the times I focus more on the gift than the giver. By the power of your Holy Spirit, help me to look beyond the goodness of the gift so I may focused on the enduring love of you, the giver of all. I pray this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.