As we approach this Thanksgiving season, we need to remember what God has done for us. This is the command of Scripture over and over again. The psalmist declared, “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” (Psalm 105:1) and “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” (Psalm 105:5) and again “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old” (Psalm 77:11). The problem is we often don’t. We forget. We pray, and ask, and receive but many times forget to thank the Lord for the glorious things he has done.
We are like the man who was visiting some relatives who lived on a farm. He noticed the farmer gave a whistle and his dog herded the cattle into the corral, and then latched the gate with her paw. The visitor asked, “Wow, that’s some dog. What’s her name?” The forgetful farmer thought a minute, and then asked, “What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?” “A rose?” said the visitor. “That’s it!” The farmer turned to his wife. “Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?”
We are a forgetful people.
The way to grow in thanksgiving is to intentionally remember what the Lord has done for us. Moses did this at the end of his long life. He stood before the people and reminded them of God’s work through history (Deuteronomy 32). After David had a great deliverance from his enemies, he sang a song of remembrance of everything that God had done for him (2 Samuel 22). When Solomon stood before the people at the dedication of the temple, he reminded them of the works of God in history (1 Kings 8). When Nehemiah stood before the families at Jerusalem to consecrate the rebuilt walls of the city, he simply reminded them of all of the great things that God had done through history (Nehemiah 9). Stephen stood before an angry mob of the Sanhedrin and reminded them of all the things that the Lord had done through history (Acts 7).
Israel was told repeatedly to ‘remember the Lord your God’ (Deuteronomy 8:18) and to ‘take care lest you forget the Lord your God’ (Deuteronomy 8:11). Throughout the Scripture, remembrance and forgetfulness are the way that faithfulness and unfaithfulness are measured.
After Jesus healed the demon possessed man, Jesus told him to “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). Maybe you have been set free from addictions, illnesses, financial struggles, or marital difficulties. Maybe the Lord is restoring relationships that you have. Maybe it’s simply recognizing the little things that God has blessed you with today.
As we approach Thanksgiving, begin now by preparing your heart. What are you thankful for? What has God done in you? Write it down and tell someone how much God has done for you!