From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
There is no better passage for Thanksgiving Day than Psalm 100:4: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” When we express thanks to God, our focus is on Him, not on ourselves.
We should give thanks to God the Father not only on Thanksgiving, but every day. Everything we have comes from God. “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father” (James 1:17). We can’t take credit for anything, not even our successes. God gave us our abilities and opportunities. Therefore, the Bible says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106:1). We are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God not only in the times of joyfulness, but also in the midst of trials. We should not let a day go by without thanking God for His mercy and grace to us, found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When thanksgiving is filled with true meaning, and is not just the formality of a polite “thank you,” it is the recognition of true dependence. It is recognition of a debt that cannot be paid. We express thanks, whether or not we are able otherwise to reimburse the giver. Certainly, we should thank God for what He has done for us, for He gives out of His abundant grace to an underserving people. Let’s show thankfulness in our hearts toward God (Colossians 3:16).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)