More than an Attitude of Gratitude

Psalm 75:1 (NKJV)

We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks! For your wondrous works declare that your name is near.

Colossians 1:12

Joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

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I recall the deep sense of relief and thankfulness on the day that we learned the results of the sweat chloride test. Negative: Our son did not have cystic fibrosis. Diane was less worried about the outcome; she knew he was healthy. I was worried; I was thinking of the implications of the terrible disease: CF. No cure. Expensive medications. Extensive treatments each day. We would have gladly and faithfully provided all we could for our son, but it would have been a life-changing moment, and a challenging few decades. My heart goes out to any who must battle this terrible disease.

We are thankful for our son’s health and wellbeing today – and the two delightful granddaughters he and his wife have given our family. We have reason to be thankful, also, for other blessings we have received. From our other seven (7) grandchildren, to delightful and edifying travel experiences, to church health, together with all the blessings of this life we give thanks. But the deep-felt sense of relief and sincere gratitude at the news of those test results are worth reflecting on in light of these verses.

Although gratitude and thankfulness may be a healthy lifestyle choice, there is an urgency in these verses easily overlooked. The psalmist is thankful for his wondrous works. Paul urges the Colossian Christians to give thanks for their ability to share in the inheritance of the saints. Asaph says, “Look with thankful hearts at what God has done for us!” We have been rescued. The verdict in the face of our sin and shame has been overturned and we are free. God has provided a remarkable gift – better than dodging the bullet of a grave medical diagnosis.

I notice, too, that we are called to more than an attitude of gratitude – as good and salutary as that may be. We are called to thank God specifically and explicitly. His works declare his name. The Father has enabled us to experience eternal salvation and join the company of the faithful in eternal light. This isn’t a matter of karma, good luck, or happenstance. This is the gracious gift of the King of the Universe; this is the grace of God whose fatherly goodness and mercy has been expressed in his Son and who deserves that we should thank, praise, serve, and obey him.

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