12 November 2009

Thinking about thanking

by Dan Phillips

When I told my dear wife I lacked specific inspiration for today's post, Valerie suggested I write about reasons to be thankful. Since "a wise man listens to advice" (Proverbs 12:15), and since I do want to be a wise man, and since some of the best advice I ever get comes from Valerie....

Lord knows we have enough reasons for being unhappy, on the horizontal plane. Whether we're talking about American politics (don't get me started), or evangelicalism in general, or even some trends within the Reformed community... there are solid reasons for concern, grief, even anger.

However, I don't think it's being-in-denial to remind ourselves that believers, on the worst days of our lives, have more to be thankful for than the richest lost soul has on the best day of his life.

Plus, as I once developed at some length, ingratitude and discontentment create massive spiritual vulnerability.

What is the best antidote? Surely it is knowledge and understanding of, and robust thankfulness for, all God is in Himself, and all God is to us through Christ, as brought home by  His Spirit applying His word.

So I mean to start a little series of posts along those themes, at least leading up to Thanksgiving. I'll even be corny enough to invite Phil and Frank to throw in, if they're so moved.

Just to prime the pump, I'll let you know where I'm thinking of starting, next time: Genesis 1:1.

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The Damer said...

Isn't it great that we can be Thankful to God?

FX Turk said...

I like corn at Thanksgiving.

J♥Yce Burrows said...


olan strickland said...

From Genesis 1:1 to Romans 1:21?

olan strickland said...

The Damer: Isn't it great that we can be Thankful to God?

That's according to WHY we are thankful to God

VcdeChagn said...

A couple of things:

1. That he holds together the universe by the power of His Word. (Hebr 1:3)

2. My next breath...and each subsequent one.

donsands said...

"..and since I do want to be a wise man, and since some of the best advice I ever get comes from Valerie...."

My wife helps me be a wise man instead of a wise guy as well.

Look forward to the teachings on "thanking".

I have learned if we live a life with an attitude of gratitude, (and that's not superficial gratitude), the unsaved people we rub shoulders with may have a better chance of tasting our salt, and seeing our light shine. They may still hate it, but our salt needs to be salty, doesn't it.

Craig and Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig and Heather said...

YES! Run with that one, guys.

Taking things into our own hands is what got us in trouble in the first place.

If we American Christians need to hear anything, it is that we must learn to thank God in whatever circumstances.

Cheering you on!


Lorraine said...

As a Canadian, I must point out that we are thankful BEFORE you guys down "south" ;-) Then, we have a sensible gap between one turkey and the next (if you're into that sort of thing... )

Seriously though, I love to talk about thankfulness to God - some evenings when I'm so tired that I know I will sleep as my head touches the pillow, I can't think of much profound to pray, but I can always think of things to thank the Father for - it's a great way to fall asleep. :-)

grateful said...

I am thankful for God's sovereignty.
No matter how unpleasant real life gets, we can be thankful that He is still in ultimate control. He is Sovereign. He is way above the Bank, who holds our mortgage and we are behind in. No matter. We will be where He wants us. And He is with us no matter where we live. My real home is heaven anyway.

Strong Tower said...

I would like to thank God for drumsticks. I didn't always thank God for drumsticks. I thanked mom. That's all thanksgiving meant to me, mom and drumsticks and corn, lots of corn and stuffing and tatters, pies, lots of pies. I thanked mom for all that, but now I see that mom didn't give me drumsticks, turkeys did. And God gave me turkeys. I thank God for turkeys... and moms, and families, and mild fall afternoons and neighborhood football. And I thank God for Valerie. Without her, we would all be a third less blessed this thanksgiving.

And I would thank God for a pizza dough recipe, if Valerie would advise Dan to post it... Tis near the season after all.

Pizza without dough is a casserole. I thank God for casseroles and church potlucks... did I mention pizza dough?

Rick Potter said...

I am thankful for wide-eyed wonder. It's gets harder as you become an adult to make it fit in. I'm also thankful for the 64 questions God asked Job. Those help me to regain my wonder.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Started Thanksgiving devotions with the boys today. We began with Ephesians 2:8-9.

No matter how messed up things around us (or within us) may get, there is MUCH to be thankful for.

Go, Dan, Go :0)

CR said...

Excellent "thing" to be "thinking" about.

I think the question we should be all be asking ourselves (it is a question that D. Martin Lloyd-Jones asked/wrote) is: is there a deep sense of thankfulness to God and Christ in our hearts?

If not, there are two options. We may not be a Christian. But for Christians, then it means the Spirit is not being manifested in our loves - and there could be a host of reasons for that - quenching or grieving the Holy Spirit.

Thankfulness is a real good barometer of evidence of our faith or evidence that the Spirit is manifesting Himself in our lives.

Colin Maxwell said...


Your post reminded me of a recent experience I had. I bought the facsimile copy of the Geneva Bible which, of course, not only uses the old Elizabethian English, but gives us the old spellings. In the marginal notes, I was startled to read in Proverbs the following advice: "Listen to the wife". After a few moments of trying to regain my feet, I realised that ye olde English had broke in again and that the good men of Geneva were really telling me to "Listen to the WISE" - the "f" being the old English "s"


DJP said...

Colin - LOL, that's terrific.