What Shall We Do to Be Thankful?

WatsonThe day before Thanksgiving seems to make such a question advisable.

The Puritan Thomas Watson contended in his book, The Godly Man’s Picture, that, among other things, the goldy man is indeed a thankful man.

Toward the close of his chapter on that notion, he raises the practical question as to what shall godly men, and women for that matter, do to be thankful. His answers are two:

Answer 1: If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply humbled with the sense of your own vileness. A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth God’s praise. He who studies his sins wonders that he has anything and that God should shine on such a dunghill: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, but I was shown mercy” (1 Tim. 1:13). How thankful Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace! A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on all his mercies as either of his own procuring or deserving. If he has an estate, this he has got by his wits and industry, not considering that scripture, “Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you power to become rich” (Deut. 8:18). Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian, think of your unworthiness; see yourself as the least of saints, and the chief of sinners—and then you will be thankful.

Answer 2: Strive for sound evidences of God’s love to you. Read God’s love in the impress of holiness upon your hearts. God’s love poured in will make the vessels of mercy run over with thankfulness: “Unto him that loved us, be glory and dominion forever!” (Rev. 1:5,6). The deepest springs yield the sweetest water. Hearts deeply aware of God’s love yield the sweetest praises.

What will work in us a spirit of gospel thanksgiving this holiday and beyond? Lord, grant us a sober perspective on our sinful condition AND a deep awareness of your stunning love.

Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me!

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