Thanksgiving: it’s closely connected with discernment and sanctification (Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, etc). And requiring discipline, it’s often as hard to remember when things are going well as when not. Yet God commands us to take joy and give thanks to Him in all things. And what’s more—somehow—He’s using our thanksgiving to change the world as He’s taking it apart and putting it back together again in most new and glorious fashion.
The gifting and calling to thanksgiving is intricately woven into the very fabric of His world, stretching back to the beginning—into all the careful, patterned placement of gold threads and dark highlighting shadows.
It’s one of the primary evidences of our faith. The Israelites in the desert were cut off in their disbelief…they grumbled.
It’s a sowing and a dying in thanks. It’s a daily resurrection and a springing forth of new life—in joy and thanks. It lies at the very center of our weekly worship—in the breaking and the giving of thanks and the taking and eating.
Giving thanks is not a sugar coating over life. Giving thanks does not preclude wrestling and grappling and pleading. But giving thanks orients our hearts and minds and souls—training us in how to do it properly. It trains us to step back and see. It trains us to live in faith.