This is the time of year that our society, from the TV commercials we see during football games to the advertisements in store windows and in catalogs, turns its focus to a kind of worldly thankfulness. The kind of thankfulness that comes from a deep-rooted consumerism, the kind of thankfulness grounded in greed and the love of self. You’ve seen it: I’m thankful for my new car, I’m thankful for all of our travel experiences this year, I’m thankful for my picture-perfect home in the most beautiful neighborhood. When we are blessed with those things in this life, we are certainly to be thankful to God for the kind of life we are enjoying.
But, when we look to the Lord to truly praise him for the blessings He has shown us, is it our stuff that is really our focus? What are we thankful for in seasons of life that are trying? What do we thank Him for in the midst of sickness, despair, sadness, and difficulty? What do we thank Him for in the ordinary everyday business of life? What do we thank Him for when we feel overwhelmed by burden? Can we still be thankful like everyone around us?
The Good News is that we can be more thankful than those around us. While the world worships the gods of processions and belongings, the gods of experiences and leisure, and the gods of wealth and comfort, we worship The God of gods. Our gratitude is deeper than that of our neighbors’. It is grounded in a Truth that exists outside of the comforts of this life. If we lost it all, we would not lose The Promises for which we are most thankful.
Let the words of Psalm 138 be our prayer of Thanksgiving during this season—
It is so tempting to find our joy in material blessings, as the world does. But this year, let us give thanks with our whole hearts and sing His praise before the gods of this world, the gods of materialism and pleasure. Let the song of our hearts be different from those around us, songs of thanksgiving for our God and the eternal blessings He has given us.