Thankfulness appears many times in the Bible and is used as a concept by Paul over 40 times in his epistles and 7 times in Colossians alone.
"I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:1-3
Thankfulness in the New Testament comes from 2 Greek words, charizomai, which comes from chairs or "grace." And the second one is homologeo or "to confess. When we are thankful we are acknowledging and appreciating God, His grace, blessings, and work in our lives.
Here are some reasons why we should be thankful to God this year despite the pandemic and losses we experienced.
1. To honor God
By being thankful, we acknowledge God's existence and that He is the source and means of everything we have in life. We admit that we are totally dependent on Him and that all that goes on in our lives is due to His sovereign control, wisdom, grace and purpose 2 Cor. 4:15.
2. The word tells us to be thankful
The Bible tells us to be thankful. We read that in the book of Psalms which are filled with words to praise and give thanks to God. Ps. 100:4 says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything keep on giving thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".
3. An attitude of thanklessness is dangerous
When we are thanklessness we are dishonoring God and being proud of ourselves and going on a course of self-destruction as in Rom. 1:21. The product of being thankless is bitterness, complaining, and a joyless life (Heb. 12:15).
"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice." Psalm 105:1-3
Since thankfulness is a response to God's grace, its opposite, bitterness, complaining, and grumbling, are evident in an unthankful heart that doesn't respond to God in faith. Thanklessness leads to selfishness which creates depression and feelings of hopelessness as we are focused on our problems rather than on God.
"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." Psalm 95:1-2
When we pray we must be thankful as Thanksgiving turns our eyes from our problems and ourselves to the Lord and His amazing grace. We can see life through God's person, principles, promises, and purposes. Thanksgiving promotes faith and courage when we are in painful situations especially the ones that we all have faced throughout 2020.