“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
Recently, the Sunshine Fellowship had a Thanksgiving fellowship. The testimonies of God’s goodness which came from our senior members speak so much of God’s faithfulness - He is always there, He has answered many petitions and intercessions; according to His will, He has healed and comforted those who had gone through pains and sufferings.
Why do Christians give thanks to God throughout the year, especially towards the end? I could think of three reasons. Firstly, it is because of who God is. He is the awesome, invisible, immortal, all-powerful, all-presence and all-knowing God. He is also a caring God who cares for us and provides for our needs. At the end of each year, we always look back at what God had done and are convinced that He cares.
Secondly, we give thanks to God because He is at work in our lives. Rom 8:28,”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We reflect on the purposes God has for us in giving us certain spiritual gifts to serve in the church and talents to do a particular vocation or job to serve others. At the end of each year, we look back and are thankful for the meanings and purposes He has added in our lives.
Thirdly, we give thanks to God out of our gratitude to Him - He saves us out of darkness into light, away from His wrath to a life of blessings. God teaches us to give thanks not only in good times but also in times of trouble and trials. Sometimes, we swing from contentment to envy, from trusting to pride, from being grateful to making complains - God has to teach and chastise us through trials, testing and they are for our good. At the end of the year, we recount God’s deliverance and restoration and we give thanks for all the circumstances He put us through.
Let us look back and recount, that we may bring the fruit of thanksgiving to the Lord.