Christians, of all people, have every reason to give thanks. For it is our Father in heaven that gives good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11). But what are those good gifts? In the hustle and bustle of our days, we can be forgetful and even ungrateful for the things our heavenly Father gives and provides for us. Scripture gives many reasons to give thanks. A few categories that stand out consistently in the Bible are provision, deliverance, and God’s character. It’s fitting that these categories are often associated with meals and worship.
1.) Provision // The Feast of Shelters
The Feast of Shelters or Feast of Tabernacles was a feast that was celebrated in Israel near the end of the fall season to celebrate God’s provision from the year’s harvest . They then would pray for God’s provision in the year to come. During the feast they would construct and live in booths for a week. It was also, primarily, a time to remember how God sustained and provided for them through the wilderness journey when they lived in shelters as they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan (Lev. 23:33-43).
God built in a season of rest and reflection for Israel to remind them of his faithfulness to them lest they think they did it on their own. On this Thanksgiving Day, take some time to remember and reflect on all the ways God has provided for you this past year. Then pray for his continued provision for this next season of life.
2.) Deliverance // Passover (Ps. 113-118)
The Passover meal commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. The custom had several parts to the passover meal: a prayer of thanksgiving would begin and end the meal; the middle portion would be reserved for retelling the exodus event, when the LORD rescued them with a mighty hand and outstretched arm .
Take some time to recount the event in which God delivered you from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son, the greatest deliverance you could ever experience. You could also give thanks for some specific areas in your life where God delivered you from specific sins or vices. Give thanks for how God saved you and is continuing to complete His saving work in your life.
3.) God’s Character
Though our triune God certainly gives good gifts, He is also worthy to be praised for who He is. Give thanks that you have experienced His good character. Because you are in Christ, whatever you do, do good in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through Him (Col. 3:17). Spend your time this Thanksgiving giving thanks for who God is. Reflect on His attributes. He is good (Ps.136). He is holy (Isa.6:3). He is just (Deut.32:4). He is love (1 John 4:16). He is faithful (Ps.33:4). Give thanks for who He is!
Don’t miss an opportunity this Thanksgiving to slow down, reflect, and give thanks to your Father in heaven who cares for you. Receive His goodness and gifts with a heart full of thanks.