Thanksgiving & a Trusting Heart
guest post by Jeff Culpepper on gratitude
Have you ever dealt with someone who seemed to do good only when thanked or praised? Good thing God is not this way. He is good no matter what. That’s the reason we thank Him. Or is it? What if His goodness might be hard to find? If we can’t find it do we even owe Him thanks?
Paul helps us resolve this issue in Romans 8. There in verse 28 he says,
“ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.”
Wondrously, God is working all things, both good and bad, together for the Christian’s ultimate good! Now, as lovers of good times, we know that if God says our ultimate good requires some bad times, then clearly He is the One who defines “our ultimate good” differently than we would. How does He? Paul in verse 29 tells us,
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
God knows that our best interest is in the fulfillment of His very purpose for creating us – becoming like His Son Jesus Christ. Since He is working toward Christlikeness in us, employing each moment and detail, we thus know how often and for what we owe Him thanks. We must give…
“…thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20)
But our natural response is:
“Hold on. Life’s hard—sometimes very hard! How can God really expect our thanks in and for all? How can we even be sure that this costly goal of Christlikeness is truly our ultimate good?”
So the underlying issue of thanksgiving: God’s goodness—can we trust it?
Paul provides a poignant answer in verse 32 (and following).
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” We can be sure that if God has given us already His best: Christ (Jn. 3:16), then He will surely give us now only and totally what is for our ultimate good.
Thus with hearts fixed trusting in God’s bountiful goodness we should gladly make Thanksgiving a daily habit—not just a yearly holiday.