When we begin to understand how much God did for us and how great is His love and mercy for us, we can’t help but fall on our knees and praise and worship Him with thanksgiving.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm107:1
Giving thanks shows our obedience because God commands us to do so.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
Giving thanks for our relationship with Him reminds us of His kindness and goodness. He pursued us as selfish, sinful people, not to make us happy, but to make us His own. When our hearts turn to God in thanksgiving, we will see the sin in our lives that can lead to repentance.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Ephesians 2:7)
Gratitude helps us look beyond ourselves and gain a better perspective. When our focus is on ourselves, what we don’t have, and whom we don’t like, we become bitter, selfish, and angry people. Even when our circumstances are difficult, harmful, and demoralizing, we can celebrate by thanking God for His love, patience, forgiveness, and nearness. We are not necessarily thankful for the difficult circumstances but can give thanks for God’s presence and sovereignty in our struggles that can bring Him glory.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2Corinthians 12:9).
In giving thanks to God, He reminds us how life on this planet is not about us and how we feel about situations and difficult people God has put in our lives. Our call from God is to love God deeply by thanking and obeying His commands to us. He commands us to love others well, no matter who they are or what they have done to us. We thank God that He is more powerful than any evil that we encounter.
In prison, Paul wrote:” Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4–7).