Why Thanksgiving Should Be Every Day
We can celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year and not just on the holiday. Here’s how.
Thankful for Salvation
We can celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year and not just on the holiday. Here’s how. Thanksgiving to believers is more than a holiday or a once-a-year event. Thanksgiving should be a way of life. To begin with, Jesus died for us while we were still wicked, ungodly enemies of God (Rom 5:6-10), not waiting for us to get our acts together. If He was waiting for that, we’d never make it. There is not one of us who deserve God’s grace. We should remember that He loved us before we ever loved Him. In the same way, we must love others first…making the first move as God did toward us. Jesus reminds us that “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). How can we not be thankful that we “were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet 1:18-19). Our thanksgiving to God should include serving others as Jesus did so that “the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor 9:12).
Thankful for Answered Prayers
Our natural tendency is to take things for granted, like God’s grace and God’s hearing and answering our prayers. Sadly, we seem to pray more fervently only when we’re in trouble, like when Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. He prayed, “I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9)! Why did Jonah suddenly become a prayer warrior and suddenly be so thankful for answered prayer? It was because he cried out, “my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7), and in praying to God, he finally understood that “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9c)! God even heard the disobedient Jonah, and so we should “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). Be thankful even in lean times, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). Of course we should seek after God’s own righteousness (Matt 6:33), meaning there be “no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph 5:4).
Thanksgiving is in the Bible. Really! It is…but it’s not exactly the same as the American holiday. Thanksgiving is actually more like an offering made to God. The psalmist says to “let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22)! Giving thanks to God, both in private prayer and in public prayer, is the same as our making a freewill offering to God and one that He will accept (if not living in serious sin), so let us “offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:17). This and every day, let us “offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings” (Amos 4:5) to our Lord for He is good. We must be thankful in good times and bad and “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2). The fact is, “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23). Let us rejoice today and every day before our God and sing, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).
Thanksgiving for Others
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 1:4), and that’s a great habit to get into. I love to repeat that to people in the church. I say, “I do thank God for you my friend.” It’s biblical to thank God for other believers, and in particular, thanking them to their face. Paul understood that “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (2 Thess 1:3). God Himself would urge us to make “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Tim 2:1). The Apostle Paul was possibly the most thankful man in the New Testament (except for Jesus) and you can see or read that when reading his writings.
To you the reader, let me echo Paul’s statement that “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Col 1:3). It doesn’t matter if I know you or not. I pray for all who read this that they would trust in the Savior today (if not already saved). My prayer is that you be kept from the coming wrath of God on unrepentant sinners that is surely to come (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8). Jesus is waiting for you to come to Him right now (Matt 11:28-30). I am thankful God for the Son of God too (John 3:16), so being thankful always and thanking people are not only right….it is the will of God. This is why thanksgiving should be each and every day of the year and not only on Thanksgiving.
Here is some related reading for you: How Christians Can Celebrate Thanksgiving Day Every Day
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.