This month, as we look toward to Thanksgiving, millions will express thanks for all sorts of things without giving a second’s thought to what or who it is they’re thankful to. Not just “what are you thankful for?”—as if often asked – but” who are you thankful to?”
Thanksgiving is worship. Thankfulness is birthed from the facts of grace, not feelings of gratitude. Thankfulness is an act before it’s an emotion
Indeed, for all things I am (as I presume you are) thankful to triune God. In the Gospel, the triune Godhead works in concert so that salvation will engulf us in God. I am thankful to him for him, for the gift of himself in the grace of his Son who is my righteousness. My sins are greater than my confessions, but I am thankful my Savior is greater than both.
What are some reasons we can be so thankful for? Let me just give you a few. I pray these eleven Gospel-saturated truths refresh your soul in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:1-8) during this season.
- I’m so very thankful the Gospel gets us (me) better than we (I) get the Gospel. A sign you’re growing in grace: You’re thankful Jesus hasn’t just forgiven all your sins, but also all your good works.
- I’m so very thankful for grace that is greater than all of our sin, and all of our wanna-be so-called goodness. “His father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) So thankful this is so.
- I’m so very thankful for the sisters and brothers who have made the Gospel beautiful and believable to me, through the years. Thankful for friends who half our pain and double our joy. Thankful for the people God uses to show me just how little of God’s grace I “get” and how much freer God intends me to be.
- I’m so very thankful that Jesus is a friend of sinners. I need his friendship and everything else he freely gives us.
- I’m so very thankful tonight for Jesus praying for us, the Spirit praying in us and the Father rejoicing over us. So thankful for Jesus praying for us, the Spirit praying in us, and the Father rejoicing over us. Of all the amazing things about prayer, perhaps the most amazing is how much God loves to hear us pray. Billions of people around the world do so much just hope one of their prayers is heard. Only this God could do that!
- I’m so very thankful for all the “in-Christ-ness” of the Gospel. Jesus gets all the glory, every bit of it. I didn’t do “squat.”
- I’m so very thankful that the gospel is more like a powerful subpoena than a mere invitation—because I tend to lose invitations. So thankful, at the end of this day, that Jesus’ righteousness trumps our failures, inconsistencies, and unbelief.
- I’m so very thankful God’s promises claim us—much more so—than we claim them. So thankful Jesus, our Good Shepherd, makes us lie down in green pastures (Ps. 23:1-2). I have a penchant for choosing lesser pastures
- I’m so very thankful the gospel isn’t about one more chance, but God’s only Christ. Thankful we’re God’s handiwork “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10); otherwise, I wouldn’t.
- I’m so very thankful there is grace for both the repentable and repairable parts of our stories… Our sin and our wounds. Thankful for lots, but most thankful for Jesus, whose Gospel the Spirit preached to me at the lowest moment of my life, waking me up to joy. I wish I was “only” broken, and not a rebel, too; but am so thankful there’s grace for both.
- I’m so very thankful for the God who works in ALL things for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). Jesus rules the world (not, will rule), with truth and grace. So thankful to be able to go to sleep tonight with my righteousness in Christ, my citizenship in heaven and my God on his throne.
And, finally, I’m so very thankful because of Jesus’ empty tomb that our hopes aren’t empty. What more could you ask for?