by R.T. Kendall
I have so much for which to be thankful. Do you? Do you show Him how thankful you are for what He has done? How could you best build in a daily opportunity to thank the Lord?
You may say, "He knows I'm thankful. I don't have to tell Him every day." Please tell Him. Do you not appreciate it yourself when people thank you for something?
Even though God can see your heart whereas people cannot, you need to tell Him. God also knows what things you need before you ask Him (Matt. 6:8), but He still wants you to tell Him, and when you pray that is what you should do.
We have a curious way of asking the Lord for what we need (even though He knows the need). We should also remember to thank Him (even though He may well know we are thankful).
How can we be so sure we are thankful if we do not go through the trouble of remembering to say thank you to the One who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3)?
We all know people who annoy us by their lack of gratitude and appreciation. It is surely true that those who remember to say "thank you" are more thankful than the ones who forget to say "thank you." God loves to hear us say "thank You" to Him and to each other. I believe that there are three principles behind thankfulness: God loves gratitude; God hates ingratitude; and gratitude must be taught.
A good parent will teach his or her child to be thankful, to show thankfulness, and to express it. God, the perfect parent, has taught this in His Word. With great care and patience He taught the children of Israel to be thankful. He was grieved when they were unthankful. Jesus taught the same thing, as did the apostle Paul.
The biblical doctrine of sanctification is to be seen as the doctrine of gratitude. Sanctification is the process by which we are made holy. It is becoming more and more like Jesus. But why be sanctified? Answer: to show we are thankful. This is why the reformed doctrine of sanctification has been called, literally, the doctrine of gratitude.
R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for 25 years. Born in Ashland, Ky., he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oxford University. He is well known internationally as a speaker and teacher. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Power of Humility, The Word and the Spirit, The Sensitivity of the Spirit, The Anointing, Just Say Thanks! and Total Forgiveness.