«Thanksgiving and the sounds of laughter will come out of them» (Jeremiah 30:19, ISV).
IN NOVEMBER 2015, as Denzel Washington took part in a benefit dinner held at a church in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, the renowned American actor said, «Give thanks for [God’s] blessings every day. Every day. Embrace gratefulness. Encourage others. It is impossible to be grateful and hateful at the same time. I pray that you put your slippers way under your bed at night, so that when you wake in the morning you have to start on your knees. And while you’re down there, say: ‘Thank you.’ »
A Jewish proverb says, «Being grateful is like offering God the best flour.» The psalmist attributes these words to God: «Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me» (Psalm 50:23, NIV). Gratitude is a sublime way of praising our Creator. Jesus illustrated this in the healing of the ten lepers.
Although all ten lepers were healed, Luke says this: «One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice, He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him» (Luke 17:15, 16, NIV). In this verse, «praising God in a loud voice» and «thanked Him» are parallel expressions. Then, Jesus Himself answers, «Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?» (verses 17, 18, NIV). Praising God implies coming before His presence and thanking Him for what He has done for us.
We might think an amazing miracle has to take place before a phrase of gratitude to God can flow from our lips. However, every step of our lives is a miracle in itself, and perhaps we are not conscious of it, which is why we don’t usually express our gratitude. Ellen G. White said that «every breath, every pulsation of the heart, is an evidence of the care of Him in whom we live and move and have our being. From the smallest insect to man, every living creature is daily dependent upon His providence.»
Let’s make each moment of our lives a reason to give thanks to our Creator. It will make us happier, and will also make our God very happy. Today we can live out the promise: «Thanksgiving . . . will come out of them.» (Jeremiah 30:19, ISV).