Post by: Nathan Fox
I recently just finished a book study on the book of Acts, which indeed was very beneficial in not only my personal life but hopefully in the lives of those who have read my contributions to the blog within the last month and a half. It truly is a remarkable book, and one in which we can glean some very important points of living from. My next book that I have decided to study is the book of Colossians, which I will begin to unpack in next week’s blog. For this week I am taking a break from any specific book study and will instead focus on a topic that every Christian ought to be familiar with on a daily basis: Thankfulness.
Why This Topic
In all honesty, no topic is as prevalent in churches and individual lives as this one. Especially around the Christmas season, the topic of thankfulness is one that should be on the forefront of every believer’s mind. Pastors from pulpits everywhere should encourage thankfulness from their God-given platforms, and believers everywhere should be encouraged by all that they have to be thankful for. It’s not a hard topic to figure out, and is certainly not a deep theological term that will boggle your mind. It’s a simple, practical characteristic that even unbelievers will understand. But for a believer, thankfulness is a key driving attribute that could and should be administered on a daily basis. Let me show you what I mean.
Verses on this Topic
From Old Testament to New Testament, there are an abundance of verses on how important it is to be thankful to God. Psalm 100:4 says this: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, bless His name!” Later on in Biblical literature, Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” In these two verses alone we see everything we need to know about being thankful. We know who is to be thankful (us), who we ought to be thankful towards (God), how we can show thanks (through praise and blessings), and how often we ought to be thankful (in everything). Folks, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out this simple truth of thankfulness. God’s Word is packed with verses and examples of truly thankful hearts, and we would be wise to carry a heartfelt attitude of thankfulness for all God has done for us.
What am I to be Thankful For?
One of my favorite hymns growing up revolved around this topic of thankfulness. It says this: “Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.” In just a few short words, you can quickly figure out what that song is about. We are to give thanks for everything according to Paul, but nothing should hold our adoration more than Jesus. It’s really why I chose this topic this week. This time of year we are reminded how precious Jesus was and is, and we are continually called to be thankful for Him and to Him. I implore you to give your thanks to Him today. Take a few minutes today and thank Him for His love, His passion for you and for the world, His humility to live amongst us and die for us, and His unwavering dedication for the lost. I guarantee that you can’t comprehend how deep His love is, but I can guarantee that sitting for a few minutes and meditating on His love will lead to nothing but thankfulness. Give thanks to God because He has given Jesus, and may God be glorified in that moment as you give thanks to Him.
What Nathan Fox is Thankful For
I feel it best to encourage you not only with my words of admonition but to also encourage you by expressing to you what I am thankful to God for. I find it a good practice for not only myself but also for others to sit down “and count blessings.” I am first and foremost thankful for Jesus, and what I wrote in the section above flows from my heart. I cannot adequately express to Him how thankful I am for Him, because no amount of words will ever suffice. He truly has done everything for me, and has been everything that He promised He would be. I am so glad that He saved me, and even more than that, I am so glad that He loves me. I could go on and on about my Jesus, but I trust that you have captured my thankful heart on that matter.
I am so thankful for my beautiful bride-to-be in Ashley. She is a joy to my life, and is truly a wonderful person, both externally and internally. I am so thankful that God put her into my life and has set it up that I should marry her. Along with Ashley, I am thankful for my family and friends. My parents are wonderful parents, and have raised me as best as you can raise a stubborn and rebellious boy. I am thankful for their love and constant encouragement in all areas of my life. I am thankful for my brothers, who have provided the laughter and love that is very important among siblings of all ages. I am thankful for my friends everywhere, who have helped me in my times of hurt and who have allowed for me to pour into them. It is a true blessing to see how God has put certain people in my life for very specific purposes, and for that I am thankful.
I am thankful for my school, Liberty University. In that place, God has moved in me and given me a passion for youth ministry. I am now more excited than ever to do ministry in His name, and I am so thankful for the professors and classmates who have taken the time to help me in any way possible. Lastly (but certainly not last), I am thankful for this blog. I am thankful to Thomas and the rest of the contributors for giving me another chance to voice my adoration for Jesus on a weekly basis. I hope that this blog encourages others as much as it encourages me to write for it.
Folks, that is not all that I am thankful for. I have so much that God has given me that it would take me the longest time to go through. I encourage you to take the time to thank God everyday, and in everything to be thankful (as Paul says in Thessalonians). God is glorified as we are thankful to Him, and I hope that you will take every opportunity to glorify God in this manner. If you ever have a question about this topic, or how you can know the Jesus that I spoke about, please message any one of us contributors to this blog. We will be very thankful that you did!