We have now been on this journey of thanksgiving for six months and it struck me that we can summarise some of the things that the Lord has been teaching us, very simply.
Thanksgiving creates connection like nothing else, both in human relationship and also particularly with our God. Remember how in Romans 1: 21 Paul explains that a failure to give God thanks was the start of the downfall of man. If a lack of thanksgiving is what separates us from the Lord how much more will a heart of thanksgiving daily draw us closer to Him. Thanksgiving in all our circumstances will stop the enemy from sowing seeds of doubt and unbelief into our hearts and minds that will result in us feeling separated from the Lord and His relentless love.
Thanksgving connects our spirit to God’s heart like nothing else. We read in Amos 3:3 God’s rhetorical question to the Israelites, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Well obviously the answer to that question is no, and the power of thanksgiving is that it brings us into our own agreement with God; that He is good, that He is for us, that He is with us throughout each and every day and in every circumstance, and that He will work in everything for our good to make us more like Jesus day by day. Romans 8:28-39.
I believe therefore that, through this journey that we are on, the Lord is wanting to create in us a mindset so that we start each and every day with ‘Thank You’.
First of all, ‘Thank you for the gift of this new day’ – A whole day ahead in which to walk with Jesus, and talk with Him and learn from Him, so that like the Psalmist we can start the day saying, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”. Psalm 118:24.
Then we can thank Him in this new day for the new mercies, new love, new faithfulness, stored up for us and ready to be poured out upon us throughout the day. ‘Because of the Lord’s love we are not consumed, for His compassions are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23. There will be forgiveness for every mistake we make and for every sin we commit.
We can also thank Him that He will be present with us throughout the day, however the day is going to pan out. His name is Emmanuel and furthermore God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. In the Amplified Bible the footnote tells us that there is something of a triple negative before the verb here, so it can read ‘I will not , I will not, I will not forsake you’. (Which is worth meditating on in case you were in any doubt.)
We can then thank Him for the provision for all that this new day holds. He is not going to be surprised at anything that comes at us. We can thank Him that ‘He is my shepherd and I shall not want’, Psalm 23:1, and that today there will be grace for everything. ‘God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’ 2 Corinthians 9:8. (Just pause and look at those words ‘all and every’) Thank Him that there is already grace stored up for every challenge.
Finally (may be?) we can thank Him for all the opportunities to shed abroad His love into the lives of the people that we are going to meet in this day. I believe as we come to Him in the morning we can be like the Amazon delivery person, loading ourselves up with the Lord’s goodness and kindness, healing, encouragement etc, gifts ready to distribute throughout the day to those we meet.
And as I thank Him, I receive it all. Thanksgiving for the day at the start of the day, is part of us receiving all that we need for the day, to walk more in step with Him and to become more like Him every day.