October 11 I Monday
“...Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” —Colossians 2:7
If someone opens a door for us to go through, we will probably say, “thank you.” If we are trying to pick up a heavy box and someone comes along to help us carry the box, we will say, “thank you.” In both instances, what does it mean when we say, “thank you”? We are acknowledging, “You have done something for us, thank you.”
In Paul’s letter to the church of Colossae, we find that giving thanks is permeated throughout his writing: “Giving joyful thanks to the Father” (Colossians 1:12); “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). Of course, there are many other references in the Bible that talk about being thankful, but by highlighting these examples from Colossians, it shows us that giving thanks needs to be vital in our life.
Thankfulness is an acknowledgment of dependence. When we read of thankfulness in Scripture, it is transferring the responsibility to God by saying, “God, in this situation that I find very difficult to cope with, thank You. You are sufficient and You are my strength.” The act of saying “thank you” is relating the issue to God. The language of faith is not “please,” which is begging for something. Rather, the language of faith is “thank You,” as we realize that God is doing something in our situation and crisis. When we say, “thank You in this situation” and “thank You in this crisis,” we express our dependence on God, which releases and frees us from a spirit of entitlement, where we feel we have the rights to things. When we say, “Lord, thank You,” we release ourselves from demands and trust God for every situation and circumstance of our life, whether we are at home, work or school.
Pastor and theologian John Piper tells us, “Thankfulness is an essential guardian of the soul, and therefore we should guard ourselves with gratitude. Evidently, we are fair game for the devil when we don’t abound with thanksgiving. Unless the song of thanksgiving is being sung in our hearts the enemy outside will deceive his way into the city of our soul, and the enemy sympathizers within will make his job easy. So for the sake of your own safety, strive to fill your heart with thanksgiving!”
Do we get up in the morning and tell God, “Thank You that You are present with and in me, and You are sufficient for me today”? Thanksgiving is not the one day of the year where we express thanksgiving; may we develop a habit of thankfulness to God each day.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You that You alone are sufficient for me each day. Thank You that You are at work in every situation and circumstance that I face. Cultivate in me a heart of gratitude.