It’s one of those open-ended descriptions that can start with a toddler’s pet kitten, expand to being the next $10,000-a-week-winner at Publisher’s Clearinghouse, or stay as simplistic as realizing God has freely bestowed His favor on us, no string attached, as an act of profound encouragement and love.
Scripture touts the many benefits of thankfulness, thanksgiving, having an attitude of being thankful:
Samuel 22:50…”Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.”*
I Chronicles 16:8…”Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples.”
Psalm 9:1…”I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.”
Psalm 30:12…”That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”
Psalm 33:2…”Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.”
Psalm 35:18…”I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.”
Psalm 44:8…”In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to Your name forever.”
Psalm 52:9…”I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”
Psalm 69:30…”I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
I find that last phrase to be interesting, and worthy of reflection. On a daily basis, do you equate thanksgiving with magnifying Him? I’m not sure I could say yes.
But perhaps that is why, in the New Testament, Paul taught the Colossians, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) How would that sound if it read, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, andmagnify Him?”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus gave thanks on multiple occasions, as recorded in the Gospels? I had assumed it was tradition, or a conscious reminder to point peoples’ attention towards His Father. But now I think there is an additional component…according to Psalm 69, each act of giving thanks is the start of magnifying God…and often preceded an amazing miracle, such as feeding the multitudes from seven loaves and the fish; or in introducing the New Covenant through His Blood, as in Mark 14:23. There is an element of thanksgiving being connected to revelation, as in Luke 17, when Jesus cleansed ten lepers, and one who “fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.” (17:17) To him, Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well.” (v. 19, italics added)
Jesus spoke aloud to the people as He stood before Lazarus’ tomb, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:41-42, italics added)
To the Corinthians, Paul taught, “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 4:15, italics added) Paul also taught, “For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.” (2 Cor. 9:12, italics added)
Supplying and overflowing…the jump from minimum to maximum…through many thanksgivings.
I will, indeed, give thanks – and prayerfully expect to have His Presence, Love, and manifestation multiplied in my life…as in yours.
*All Scriptures, New American Standard Bible