It is interesting to me to think about Thanksgiving in America in 2022. I hear people on TV and on the radio talking about thanksgiving, but they make no mention of God. Who is everyone thanking?
Psalm 100 makes it clear that our thanks should be directed to God.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
We find out who should receive our thanks in the first few verses. It says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!” There is one clear and appropriate direction for our thanksgiving. The Lord is the one who deserves thanks and praise. Think about the picture that is being painted here in the first two verses. It is the picture of a benevolent king being praised by his grateful people. Now, what kind of king makes his people so happy and joyful at his appearance? One who is gracious, kind, and cares for his people.
Look at verse 3, “Know that the Lord, he is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
The thing to notice here is that there is a progression of intimacy. First, we are reminded that the Lord, who deserves all praise, is the one true God. He created us. We would not exist except for him. He created us, and he has also claimed us as his people. As his people, he cares for us as a shepherd cares for his sheep. He places us in his pasture, watches over us, and provides for all our needs. These truths should drive us to thanksgiving! God is so good!
Is your thanksgiving directed to God? Do you have a regular practice of considering all you have to be thankful for? Do you recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from your Father above? And are you constantly reminding yourself and those around you that God is worthy of our thanks? Do you ever forget that He is the one who made us? Do you ever look around and admire what you have accomplished without recognizing that it is only by the grace of God that you have life and breath?
Paul asks in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
When we rightly direct our thanks to God, He is glorified and our hearts are filled with joy! Think about the joyful state of these people who come into the presence of the Lord. Is our lack of contentment in life the result of failing to enjoy God as the giver of all good things? I think it is. When we are arrested with discontentment, it is almost always because we have lost sight of the abundance of grace God has already shown us.
Take time this Thanksgiving week to direct your thanksgiving to the giver of every good thing. Make sure to recount the many blessings of God and attribute them to the right source.