God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We discussed last week that our thankfulness must not be based upon our feelings or our circumstances. Rather, the basis for our thankfulness is the goodness and mercy of God. If we base our thankfulness on our circumstances we will be disappointed. But if we base our reason for being thankful on God and His promises, we will be eternally satisfied because Jesus is eternally satisfying. This morning, we will consider seven (7) reasons to give thanks this holiday season.
- Jesus! We have reason to be thankful because of Jesus Christ! Jesus is real! He is not a myth or a legend. Jesus was born, He lived on earth in the first century, He did many great wonders, He pointed men and women to God, He died on the cross, and He rose again on the third day. The Bible tells us that “all things were created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). Jesus is the best reason for us to be thankful.
- Jesus saves. Jesus did not come to the world to be served but “to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28). Jesus came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). As the old hymn says, “We have heard the joyful sound, Jesus Saves! Jesus Saves! Spread the tidings all around: Jesus Saves! Jesus Saves!” The Bible says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). It was prophesied of Jesus that “He will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Acts 10:43 says, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Romans 5:1 says “we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Jesus saves by grace, not works. As a person who is conscious of his own sin, salvation being by grace is a blessing. If salvation was granted on the basis of our works, no one would be saved. Romans 3:10 says, “no one is righteous, no, not one.” We need grace because in our own goodness, “no one living is righteous before You” (Psalm 143:2). Isaiah 64:6 says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” But praise God that His grace is greater than our sin, takes away our sins, and washes us clean from our sin.
- Jesus saved you. The fact that Jesus exists is wonderful. The fact that Jesus saves is marvelous. The fact that salvation is by grace is spectacular. And the fact that Jesus would save a wretch like me is amazing! The familiar hymn says, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.” Hallelujah “that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). How wonderful it is to consider that I not only know God, but He knows me and loves me.
- God is working. God saved you and you can have confidence that He is working in and through us. God saved you for a reason and that means He has a purpose and a plan for you. This means that everything that happens; happens for a reason. Romans 8:28 tells us that “all things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus.” When we are tempted and tried, we can rest in the hope of knowing we are not alone. We can rest knowing that we do not fight alone and we do not battle in our own strength. Knowing that there is no purposeless evil is a reason to give thanks and to continue fighting. Knowing that the power of God can transform your life also gives us hope that this same power can transform the hearts of our family and friends. This is great cause for giving thanks to God.
- Jesus saved you for a mission. Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When we are saved, we are saved from sin and saved to do good works. God puts His disciples to work. We are fishers of men who are committed to the mission of Jesus to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:20). Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we, who are Christians, are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We are called and given a mission and we have work to do. This is a reason to be thankful.
- Jesus will return. Christians can be thankful and rejoice that Jesus is going to return again one day. Jesus said in Revelation 22:7, 12 and 20, “I am coming soon.” Before He left to go to heaven, Jesus told His disciples: “Let not your hearts be troubled…I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you myself, that where I am going you may be also” (John 14:1-3). Jesus has not left us and forgotten about us but will come to get us soon. This should cause us to rejoice as we know that we will one day be with our Lord and Savior. This present world will not continue as we currently know it. The world will be redeemed, sin will be destroyed, and we shall be with God forever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” There are countless reasons to be thankful in Jesus Christ. Our hope is that these seven reasons would spur you onto greater faith, hope, joy, love and thankfulness.