Why Giving Thanks Is So Important
On this day of national thanksgiving to God, here are some excellent reminders from Rev. Bill Johnson on why giving thanks is so vital to our spiritual—and even our intellectual—health and well-being.
“Thanksgiving agrees with Heaven by acknowledging the truth that our lives are a gift from God, and that He is sovereign over all. God is extravagantly generous, and the life He has given us on this planet is not a life of survival, but of abundance and blessing. However, unless we properly recognize what we have been given, we will not be able to experience that life. That is the reality of receiving a gift. If we don’t understand what we’ve been given, we won’t understand its purpose and be able to experience its benefits.
“Knowing God is not hard. It’s actually the most obvious thing in the world. All you have to do is glorify Him as God and be thankful. This response, because it agrees with the truth, gives you open access to the vast treasures of the knowledge of God. But without that response, your thoughts become futile and your heart darkened (see Rom. 1:18-21). Futile means “purposelessness.”
“When we fail to respond with thanksgiving for everything in our lives, our thinking gets cut off from our purpose in God. When we lose sight of our purpose, we’ll inevitably make choices that are outside of God’s intentions for our lives.
“Darkened hearts cannot perceive spiritual reality. Darkened, thankless hearts are unmoved by the desires and affections of the Lord, and therefore cannot respond to His invitation to relationship, which is the source of life. The absence of thankfulness leaves the door wide open to sin.
“Since thanksgiving keeps us sane and alive by connecting us to the source of our life and purpose, it makes sense that Paul instructs us to give thanks ‘in everything’: ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18).”