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“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”—Psalm 100:4
I really like Thanksgiving, because there is not a lot of pressure to go out and buy things. You have to get food, of course. But apart from that, Thanksgiving is not about shopping. It is more about getting together with family and friends and doing what most people love to do, which is eat.
We can enjoy the food. We can enjoy our family. We can enjoy our fellowship. But the real purpose of Thanksgiving is to give thanks. It is a day to focus on giving thanks.
Of course, that is sometimes easier said than done. It is easy when things are going reasonably well, the bills are paid, we have a roof over our head and our health is good. But when times are hard, we don’t want to give thanks at all. But here is what the Bible says: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1 NIV).
Notice this verse does not say to give thanks to the Lord when you feel good. Rather, it says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”
Someone might say, “Well, what if my heart is not in it? Should I still give thanks?” Yes, you should. Many times when we offer our worship to God, it is just that: a sacrifice. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
The Bible not only commands us to give thanks regardless of circumstances, but it also tells us to verbally give thanks to God. It would be like a husband never telling his wife that he loves her. She needs to hear it from him. And of course, a husband needs to hear “I love you” from his wife, too.
God knows all things. He knows whether we love him. However, He still asks for us to give Him verbal praise. Far too often, we fail to give God what is due him. As Psalm 29:2 reminds us, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.”