Giving Thanks to God for Our Spiritual Blessings

Bible Praying

The Scriptures teach that giving thanks to God is just as important as doing things by the authority of Christ. Paul said, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). The reason why we are to give thanks to God is because He is the source of all blessings (James 1:17).

There are many things for which we can be thankful. But the simple reality is that not all have been blessed in the same way. One may be thankful for a nice house and another may have no place to live. Someone else may be thankful for his job while many others are out of work. Many of us are thankful for our families, but there are those who have been widowed, orphaned, or otherwise deserted by their loved ones.

It is sometimes easy to look at the blessings that others have and become jealous or covetous over the apparent disparity. Often we forget that when we do this, we have much to be thankful for that others do not. But even if one is severely lacking in the physical blessings of this life, there is still cause to be thankful. Job lost everything – his wealth, his children, his health, the support of his wife, and the respect of his friends – but his initial response to all of this was not bitterness and anger, but of praise for God.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:20-21).

How was Job able to worship God in spite of his dire circumstances? He recognized that God was the one who had blessed Him and even when all the physical blessings were taken away, he still had reason to praise God.

Even if you find yourself in a situation like Job, you still have great cause for gratitude toward God. He has given several things that have been made available to all mankind if we will just recognize and use the blessings He has given.

What Has God Given to Us?

The Creation – Everything that God made was “very good” and He has placed man over all Creation (Genesis 1:27-31). The world which He has made shows us that He cares for us (Psalm 8:3-4). Through His providence, this world continues to be a place where we can live and thrive (Acts 14:17).

The Scheme of Redemption – The redemption of man through the grace of God was part of His “eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). He worked to bring this about throughout the Old Testament, evidenced by the prophecies, the birth of the nation of Israel, and the preservation of a remnant of Judah.

The Sacrifice of Christ – The sacrifice of Christ on the cross was made willingly by both the Father (John 3:16) and the Son (John 10:18). Jesus’ sacrifice provides forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:17) and freedom from sin (Romans 6:17-18).

The Church – The blood of Christ also purchased the church (Acts 20:28). Today we can be part of His body (Ephesians 1:22-23), which is the institution that was divinely designed to carry out God’s work (1 Timothy 3:15) and is the place where we can get help and encouragement from fellow Christians (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 10:24-25).

The Word of God – God’s word was revealed through the work of the Holy Spirit and tells us about God, who He is, and what His will is for us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). It was also revealed in such a way that we can understand it (Ephesians 3:4).

The Hope of Heaven – The eternal life that God offers is a “free gift” (Romans 6:23), meaning it is undeserved and, therefore, given through grace. The home in heaven that He offers us is better than anything this world has to offer (Matthew 16:26).

How Can We Show Our Gratitude?

As we consider the blessings above, it is important to note that these blessings are offered to everyone. Not everyone will have a nice house, car, job, family, etc.; but God has made these spiritual blessings available to all of us. How do we respond to these blessings?

Even if we have nothing else for which we think we can be thankful, we can give thanks for these things. We can express our thanksgiving verbally – through prayer (Philippians 4:6) and song (Colossians 3:16). But we need to do more than just say we are thankful. In writing about love, John expressed a principle that applies to many things, including the giving of thanks: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). The point is that we need to do more than just say we are thankful, we must show our gratitude by using the things He has given.

  • Use the physical things of His creation to take care of yourself and others.
  • Use the sacrifice of Christ in God’s scheme of redemption to obtain forgiveness of sins and to crucify the old man.
  • Use the church to work and worship with your brethren, while also giving and receiving encouragement.
  • Use the word of God to learn, grow, and also teach others.
  • Use the promise of heaven to motivate you.

Even when a worldly perspective will lead us to believe there is not much for which we can be thankful, the Scriptures remind us of the great things that God has provided for us. Do not get so caught up in the vain pursuit of worldly things, or in comparing your physical blessings with others, that you forget what you have from God. Remember those blessings and use them throughout the year.

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