What is thanksgiving?
2 Corinthians 2:14 – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5: 17-18 – pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
What is thanksgiving? The Greek word ‘Eucharisteo’ – means to give thanks. Eu – mean give – Charis means ‘thanks or grace.’ So,the two together mean, to give thanks. W.F. Vine defined thanksgiving as ‘the expression of joy God-ward’…. and we know from Scriptures that joy brings strength. Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude and appreciation in a joyful manner. Thanks should be given with the right attitude and in faith. My mother told me that if you do not show gratitude to the people that help you, you leave them with a feeling of being cheated or duped and that could close future doors. From childhood, we are taught to always say ‘thank you’ when people give us something or assist us. This is really good, however, there is another dimension to thanksgiving that has not been widely taught. God is a Spirit and those that would worship Him shall worship Him in spirit and in truth. So, thanksgiving should start from our spirit, our heart and should stem firstly from who is and then for what He has done, doing and going to do . We however, know through Scriptures that what God has done for us can only be appropriated by faith because they are all in a spiritual format. We need faith to bring the blessing of God from the spiritual realm into the physical. What this means is that, based on being taught to give thanks after we have seen things done for us in one physical form of another, we are prone to wait to see God manifest His promises in the physical before we show gratitude or offer full thanksgiving. This attitude is erroneous as far as Scriptures are concerned.
In Christ Jesus, we live a finished life. All that concern us have been pre-planned and is a journey of victory, however, it will take a process of faith, patience and time for them to fully manifest in the physical. So, our thanksgiving should be based on who God is and what He has already done for us in Christ and we should not wait until we see all before we start to give thanks. Thanksgiving is the pace setter for the manifestation of the finished work of God’s grace in our lives. So, a farmer waiting until harvest before thanking God is operating on a low level thanksgiving but a farmer who goes into copious thanksgiving before the harvest will provoke the grace of God far better than the previous farmer. Jesus gave thanks at the tomb of Lazarus and then the supernatural followed. Jesus gave thanks when He had the two fish and five loaves and they were multiplied to feed five thousand men not counting the women and children. Paul and Silas, while in prison, sang to the Lord and God broke into the jail house and set them free. Thanksgiving is a pacesetter and not an afterthought. Paul started his epistles with thanksgiving and I think there is something to learn from that. We are admonished by Scriptures to give thank always. You may ask, so what about when things are bad? Remember you have a covenant of all-round victory, so you go ahead and give thanks for the victory even if you don’t know how it would come, envision victory through the promises that God has given you. Never give devil any praise, give God all and I mean all the praise and glory.
For further Study
Psalm 100, Romans 8: 1-2
Personal declaration for the day
I will not lose your attitude of gratitude, I will focus on the goodness and power of God and not be distracted by the operations and threats of the devil.
Questions for you to reflect on
What or who is your thanksgiving based on?