I mentioned a couple days ago about how atheists cannot be thankful or grateful. Actually I said they can’t be logically thankful or grateful. What I mean by that is that an attitude of thankfulness is actually a confession. It’s a humble confession that I have received from an external source something that I could not have provided for myself.
Now of course, an atheist family could sit around the table and when someone asks, “So what are you thankful for?” dad could say, “I’m very thankful to the pharmaceutical companies for providing me with Viagra so that I'm not so grumpy anymore.” And maybe that isn’t so bad if that’s all you believe in. But for Christians at least, thankfulness is an acknowledgment of the fact that we are cared for with blessings that are new every morning, even in the midst of disaster and heartache.
Now the development of this attitude goes as far back as Judaism records it’s history. There are hundreds of references to thanksgiving and thankfulness throughout the Bible. For example:
1st Chronicles 16:8 - Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
1st Chronicles 16:34 - Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 28:7 - The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
1st Timothy 4:4 - For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
Ephesians 5:19-21 - Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:5-7 - Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It's important to note that this is not a pagan manipulation of some deity in order to get something. The Christian thanksgiving is an admission to Creator God that He has given us what we need even before we realise that we need it.
Thankfulness - the admission that but for the grace of God I have no existence, no sustenance, nothing of importance to look forward to, no hope, no life.
With God in my life and Jesus in my heart I have peace, I have joy and most of all I have freedom.
Thank you Lord for your patience, mercy, love and grace.