Thanksgiving begins with a heart of gratitude. A grateful heart toward God recognizes that our Creator is our benefactor and we are merely the recipients of His goodness and generosity. We exist because He wants us here, and everything we have comes from Him.
In “Eternal Thanksgiving,” Dr. Henry Morris III says, “Before the first atom of the world was ever created, we were predetermined to be made just like the Lord Jesus.” That alone is “worth rejoicing over”! Dr. Morris also mentions that on Thanksgiving Day, “Many still gather around their tables to re-bond as a family and remember the blessings of the past year. Some of us read the Scriptures together and give our Lord Jesus the thanks He deserves for bringing us through another year….We should never stop those efforts to rekindle our love for God and the expectant delight of His blessings.”
Perhaps you’re going through difficult times and finding it tough to be thankful during this season. But even in hard times, we can count our blessings.
We can be thankful for life. Every breath we take is a gift from God (Job 12:10). Everything we are and everything we are able to do come from God. Every moment of our life was ordained by our Creator—He determines why we are alive and how long we will live. We are made in His image, a reflection of our majestic Lord.
We can also thank our heavenly Father for our bodies. He designed every incredible, tiny detail to work in an engineered orchestration of perfect timing, fit, and function. He gave us brains to accomplish feats like no other creatures on Earth. And while many of us deal with limitations or illnesses, we can thank Him because waning health and disabilities are no surprise to Him. Whatever limitations our bodies encounter, we can be certain our Creator has a plan to work them for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29).
Family is a gift from God. Look around your table. Our children and spouses are gifts from the Lord (Psalm 127:3; Proverbs 18:22). God didn’t want us to be alone, so He created the family unit when He began with Adam and Eve.
Do you have food on the table and clothes in your closet? It all came from God. He created cranberries and cotton on Day 3 and turkey and Cornish hens on Day 5. We didn’t make any of it, but we get to enjoy the work of God’s hands when we sit down for our Thanksgiving feast.
All of the other things we own or experience—our educations, jobs, transportation, entertainment activities, friendships, and homes and the possessions that fill them—comes from God. He even gives us the ability to make a living (Deuteronomy 8:18), so there’s no room for pride in our careers, bank accounts, abilities, or brains.
Every circumstance of life is an opportunity to offer thanks to our Creator. As Henry Morris IV reminds us, God wants us to give thanks in everything. Even in the difficult times, we can “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) because we can rest in His presence and be confident of His purposes.
And above all we can thank God for His indescribable gift of grace—our atonement through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15). We can’t fully grasp the depths of His love for us and the magnitude of the gift of salvation through His Son, but we can understand enough to pour out our thanks to Him!
Counting our blessings and offering thanks begin with gratitude—we exist because of our gracious Lord. Everything we have and are came from our Creator. We created nothing, and yet we are the recipients of God’s goodness simply because our Creator chose to pour out His blessings on us. As we gather around our tables, let’s give thanks to the One who made and redeemed us.
* Jayme Durant is Director of Communications at the Institute for Creation Research.