Two of the most important words in any language are, “Thank You.” They are some of the very first words we learn to speak as children, and most parents are very diligent to be sure that their children use them regularly. They are words of common courtesy that reflect one’s gratitude for something done for them by another. Even in as rushed and impersonal a society as the one in which we now live, saying “Thank You” is still pretty common, and it is noticed when it is neglected.
When it comes to expressing gratitude, there is no one more deserving of thanks than our Father in heaven, and our Lord Jesus Christ. All we need do is consider the world in which we live. It is a special place, created by God just for human beings. It contains all the resources necessary for us to thrive. Despite the alarmist warnings of unbelievers that the earth’s resources are limited or diminishing, God has provided for us far in excess of what mankind will ever need. The earth will continue to abundantly provide for mankind until our Father sends His Son for judgment at the end of time (cf. Gen. 8:22).
As a result, just waking up in the morning, breathing the fresh air, eating a meal, and enjoying all that God has placed at our disposal should be more than enough reason to say, “Thank You, Lord!” When we look up at the stars at night and see the majesty of the heavens, and note that all the stars and planets travel in their courses at God’s command and under His control, we should also be prompted to say, “Thank You, Lord!” What a marvelous and wonderful world God has provided for us!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us that our Father in heaven cares for us in such detail that He will provide for all of our physical needs. The unbelievers worry about what they will eat, or what they will drink, or how they will be clothed, but Jesus said that His Father knows our needs and will abundantly supply them. In Mt. 6:24-33 He spoke in detail about this truth and concluded by saying, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (v. 33).
As important as these physical blessings are, there is something even more important for which we should express our gratitude to our Father in heaven. The most important thing our Father has done for us is to provide His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Jn. 2:1-2). In Christ we have all spiritual blessings, redemption through His blood, and the forgiveness of our trespasses (Eph. 1:3-7). Because of this sacrifice, we have hope, not only in life, but also in eternity. If this is not something for which we should say, “Thank You, Lord,” it is hard to imagine what would deserve such a response.
In Phil. 4:6 Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” In Col. 4:2 Paul said, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” In Rev. 7:9-12 John describes a marvelous scene in heaven in which all the angels, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures all fell down before the Father’s throne and offered praise, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” (v. 12).
May this be our prayer of thanksgiving every day as we remember God’s marvelous gift of eternal life. For Christians, every day is a day to say, “Thank You, Lord!”