Thoughts of Thanksgiving: A Five-Day Devotional by Skip Heitzig

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Thoughts of Thankfulness

Counting our blessings could be the most difficult arithmetic for us humans to calculate. A cynical businessman supposedly once remarked,

It took me sixty-one years to find out people are ingrates. I have 175 employees. At Thanksgiving I sent them 175 choice turkeys. Only four thanked me: two by notes and two when they chanced to meet me in the hall. Because of their thanklessness, I have decided to never go out of my way to be nice again. If you want to find gratitude, look it up in the dictionary.

Aren't you glad God isn't like that? Many times we fail to give thanks, but God continues to pour out His gracious blessings on us. We can learn to be more grateful from King David, whose heart of thanksgiving is reflected in Psalm 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's (vv. 1-5).

Many scholars believe that David wrote Psalm 103 during one of the darkest times of his life and a gloomy time for the nation of Israel. But rather than wallow and complain about his circumstances, David stopped and had a talk with his soul, almost as if to say, "Hey, wake up in there! Bless the Lord. Count His benefits. Return thanks for what He has done."

Our tendency is to notice the black dot on the white sheet, to count the overcast days rather than the sunny ones. But, as Jon Tal Murphree wrote, "It is ironic almost to the point of comedy that people should so focus on evil that they blindly overlook the immeasurable abundance of good, happiness, even pleasure carried on by this planet at every given point in time."

David refused to be blinded by the bad things that surrounded him and instead commanded his soul to bless the Lord. You and I can do the same thing, too.