A guide to thankfulness 1: why should we be thankful?

As part of Brickhill's Thanksgiving Weekend, I was asked to prepare some materials to help people spend time giving thanks to God. This is the first part.

1. Thankfulness glorifies God
- “I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30)
- Thanking God acknowledges that He is the source of all things. It declares that He is the great Creator, Sustainer, Saviour, Healer… that every good thing comes from Him.

2. We have so much to be thankful for
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3).
- The word ‘gratitude’ has its roots in the word ‘grace’: God’s freely-given, undeserved merit that He has given to us. (This is also true in the Biblical Greek in which Paul wrote.)

3. Thankfulness changes us
- It humbles us as we remember God’s amazing grace to sinners. “As long as we are receivers of mercy, we must be givers of thanks.” (Charles Spurgeon)
- It guards our heart. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- It provokes us to commit ourselves to God. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” (C.T. Studd)

4. Scripture exhorts us
- “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1), “Be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

5. Jesus modelled this to us, as did many others in the Bible
- “At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father…’” (Matthew 11:25).
- Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 12:7, 21:6-7), Moses and Miriam (Exodus 15:1-19,20-22), Hannah and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:27-28, 7:12), Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 8:12-21, 10:9)

Part 2: What should we be thankful for?
Part 3: How can we express our thankfulness?