Tonight, I want to deviate from our regular study of the book of Ecclesiastes and look at the concept of thanksgiving. Of all the "Big" holidays, this one is the closest to being truly biblical. We are not given instruction on the celebration of Christmas or Easter, but we are told time and time again to offer up thanksgiving unto God. There are no turkeys or stuffing, but the concept of a time when we give thanks is definitely found in the Scripture.
We live in a country where the concept of thanksgiving is greatly misunderstood. A recent cartoon read that the first thanksgiving in this country was when the early settlers took time to thank God for all He had done to protect and provide for them. Parades, football games, and half-time shows were added later to increase participation.
Why aren't we more thankful in this country? Prosperity breeds materialism, materialism breeds ingratitude, ingratitude breeds hardness of heart, and hardness of heart leads to rebellion toward God!
Let's look at the Scriptures tonight and see a few things concerning thanksgiving.
I. Thanksgiving is a result of being:
A. Filled with the knowledge of His will... cf. Colossians 1:9-12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18
B. Filled with the Spirit... cf. Eph.5:18-20
II. Thanksgiving results in:
A. God being glorified... cf. 2 Co. 9:11-13
B. Others believing in God... cf. John 11:41-42
C. Others hearing about God... cf. 1 Chronicles 16:8
III. Thanksgiving is necessary:
A. For prevailing prayer... cf. Philippians 4:6
B. For deliverance from trouble... cf. Psalms 50:14-15
C. For all that we do... cf. Colossians 3:17
Conclusion: As we are to pray without ceasing, so are we to return thanks always. There cannot always be a word of thanks on our lips, but there can always be an attitude of thanksgiving in our hearts. Thanksgiving and prayer should be the atmosphere in which we live, the air we breathe, and just as a man keeps right on breathing while doing a thousand other things...so we can keep on praising and thanking and praying at all times. Ps. 34:1, "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth."