Family. Friends. Provision. Studying. Good music. Iced lattes and hot tea. Dark chocolate. Safety from hurricanes. Late afternoon sun on floodwater.
There are so many little blessings every day that we never stop and thank God for. Sometimes the abundance of His undeserved kindness seems overwhelming.
But the things I mentioned above – we can’t stop there with our thankfulness.
In studying Colossians for this fall’s Bible Bee, I came across Paul’s beautiful, powerful prayer for his recipients. The last item on his list of requests for the Colossians is that they would be “… joyously giving thanks to the Father”. (Colossians 1:12)
In the very next verse he explains the reason for their thanksgiving.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The most important reason for us to thank and praise our God is because of the gospel – because in unparalleled love He chose to become one of us and save us from the damnation we’d incurred for ourselves.
If we only ever thank God for the things He gives us, we’re really ignoring the biggest and most important gift – and the one that cost Him the most. We’re trying to find ultimate fulfillment in possessions or activities or people or accomplishments, when it can only be found in Him.
The material blessings we enjoy are beautiful expressions of His goodness and His kindness toward us. But they are not the ultimate expression. The ultimate expression of God’s goodness, kindness, and love is Jesus’ death and resurrection. Every other blessing we enjoy is really just a result of that one great blessing He lavished on us.
This is not to say material blessings aren’t important. Actually, the only reason they have any meaning at all is because of the gospel. If we were still living in darkness, cut off from a relationship with God, the things we enjoy on this earth would be like everything else – passing away, futile attempts at finding life and joy. But now we can see them for what they are: little outpourings of our Father’s love, which found its greatest expression in sending His Son to die so we could be reconciled to Him.
So yes, we should definitely thank God more often for His blessings. But never forget to thank and praise Him for the greatest blessing of all.