When the desire to extend our thankfulness to someone, we will go to all lengths to insure that act of thanksgiving is delivered promptly and in all sincerity. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with some people. It was reported several years ago that American Greeting Cards lowest card sales were in the ‘Thank You’ category.
I have met people who believe God’s whole purpose of being is for Him to give us whatever we need; no matter when or what that need may be. A ‘cosmic Santa Claus’ if you will. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
I did not understand thankfulness from the heart until I understood God’s gift of salvation. I have read Isaiah Chapter 53 many, many times. Those verses of Scripture humble me every time. (v.1“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”) The power and the glory of God exhibited through the prophet Isaiah to write this extraordinary prophecy is my foundation of Thanksgiving. For God to give me (and the rest of the world) the opportunity to understand what His will for Jesus was to be is simply astounding. Where does one begin to express Thanksgiving to God for this knowledge?
An expression of Thanksgiving to God is the desire to live ‘pure in heart’. Imagine living a life that you lay before God is truthfully in you; not what ought to be in you. The Psalmist wrote, “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; (Psalm 19:8). Paul expressed that same thought in his First letter to Timothy (1:5), “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.” Again, to bring before God what is truthfully in us does not only show contrition, but the sincere act of Thanksgiving to our Lord, our God.
In Matthew 5, Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” One view concerning this verse which has provided discussion over the centuries is only the ‘pure in heart’ desire to see God. If I live daily in Thanksgiving, I cannot help but believe my earnest desire to see God is as real as my sincerest prayer. Over the course of time, if a person is not thankful yet claims ‘faith’ in the Lord, then it could be said that he is not particularly interested in the most important part of our communion with God.