Thanksgiving is related to praise but they are not one and the same. Thanksgiving is to express appreciation for the things that God has done for you, for others, or for any acts He has performed. Praise is to express appreciation for who God is, His Person, His Word, His Attributes.
Thanksgiving is mental or vocal. It is to be specific gratitude. Thanksgiving– like the whole of prayer itself, is not just an act, but a lifestyle (1 Thess 5:17-18).
It focuses on God’s faithfulness and thereby increases our faith because it reminds our hearts of what He has done. Faith is always trust based on the Lord’s faithfulness of the past. Thanksgiving increases that. It is one of the best cures for depression, pity parties, disappointment.
As I asked readers to practice praise a few weeks ago, I ask you again now to practice thanksgiving. Allow your mind to wander through the days activities. Allow God to direct you toward blessings you overlooked and failed to thank Him for. Don’t just thank Him, “Thanks God,” but thank Him by exploring the goodness of God in those items. Thank God specifically, not just a blanket statement. Thank Him individually and sincerely.
You can thank God for His goodness to you, to your family, to the world.
You an thank God for His blessings in the past, His blessings in the present, and His blessings that will come in the future. God’s blessings can be people, things, ideas, confirmation of His will, and nearly anything else. Blessings can be material, spiritual, relational, physical, and external.
You can thank God for His sovereignty and His ruling over the world. The Bible tells us to be joyful in trials and tribulations, so you can also genuinely thank God for tragedy, for hard times, for persecution. Our trials and tribulations bring about our perseverance and develop our character.
Give thanks to God in all circumstances, unceasingly.