But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.2 Timothy 3:1-2, New King James Version
What’s the reason people are so unthankful in the last days? If we’ll stop and look around, it’s not like there isn’t enough to be thankful for. Notwithstanding recessions, most people—especially in America—live in relative prosperity. But as is common in times of prosperity, it’s easy to forget the Lord. We can see a clear example of this in the Old Testament.
Thus the children of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.Judges 8:34, NKJV
[They] forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.Psalm 78:11-12, NKJV, brackets mine
It’s hard to be thankful for something you don’t remember. It takes effort to remember. That’s why Scripture says to “forget not all His benefits” (Ps. 103:2, NKJV, emphasis mine). Even if we have a lot to be thankful for, and even if we’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving—one of America’s biggest holidays—it’s easy to lose sight that all good things come from God.
Here is a verse that goes along with that idea:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.James 1:17, NKJV
This is awesome! God never changes. That means He will always give us good things!
But if we are not ones who forget what God has done, something else we should watch out for is pride. If we’re focused on self, that will get in the way of acknowledging and thanking God. Check this verse out:
What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?1 Corinthians 4:7b, NKJV
Thankfulness takes humbling oneself. Second Timothy 3 says that humility in the last days will be in short supply. In times past, I never would have said it was a pride issue when I didn’t feel like thanking God. My position was one where I thought God hadn’t been good enough to me. I’d offer up half-hearted praise. But for me, holding back my thankfulness was pride. I’m learning to “give unto the Lord the glory due to His name” (Ps. 29:2, NKJV). That means doing it when I feel like it and when I don’t.
Finally, fear can keep us from being thankful. Have you ever thought you would look silly to others if you really expressed thanks to God? If so, that’s the fear of man. Ask yourself: “What’s so funny about being thankful for all the wonderful things God has done in my life?” Think about the following verse:
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.Psalm 33:1, NKJV
I like that. Praise is beautiful! I also like this verse:
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.Psalm 92:1a, King James Version
Praise is good! There’s an old hymn called “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.” Here are the lyrics:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
It’s a simple song, really. But today, perhaps more than ever, these are words that ought to be on our lips and spring from our hearts.
This Thanksgiving, remember what God has done in your life. Humble yourself and thank Him. It’s a beautiful thing!
How do you plan to be thankful this holiday season? We’d love to hear about your holiday traditions.