Pictured: 365 Days of Gratitude Journal
Did you know that the Bible is full of the simple command to give thanks? Over and over again, from Old Testament to New, in good times and bad, the command rings out: “Give thanks to the Lord. He is good. His love endures forever.”
I think most of us would quickly agree that both God and his enduring love are indeed good, but when it comes down to it, we sometimes forget to actually stop and give thanks for God's good gifts in our lives.
Since it's November, a month when we Americans are primed to practice thanksgiving, I've been thinking about this a lot. We count our blessings and name them out loud as we gather around the family table, but the truth is that thanksgiving shouldn't be reserved for one month out of the year. It ought to be our anthem, all year long.
Practicing gratitude helps our hearts remember the truth that our heads already know: not simply that God is good, but that God is good to us, and just as he has been, so shall he ever be.
Colossians 2:6-7 puts it this way: “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Walk in Christ.
Be deeply rooted.
Establish your faith.
Abound in thanksgiving.
According to this passage, abundant, overflowing, can't-hardly-contain-it gratitude is one of the marks of faith. Those who are in Christ can't help but thank him on the regular for blessings both big and small. It's a defining characteristic of the faithful. Something we ought to be known for. A trait that's part of our DNA as believers.
Giving thanks to the Lord day in and day out does something to us. The act of naming the good and thanking the Lord over and over again solidifies and strengthens our faith. It also softens our hearts and transforms us into the sort of people that God has created us to be.
People whose lips overflow with praise and whose hearts abound with thanksgiving. May we be that sort of people, not just in November, but 365 days a year.
Amen and amen.