“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”
— Psalm 107:1
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and it’s the perfect time for evaluating how often we offer thanks to God. Thanksgiving is “the memory of the heart,” the way we show God that we know Who takes care of us every day of the year.
How are you doing in the gratitude department? Have you counted your blessings lately and thanked God for each one?
In Luke 17, we read of ten lepers whom Jesus healed. Despite this tremendous miracle in their lives, only one leper returned to thank Jesus. This story shows how even the most spiritual people often forget to thank God. We can see from the story that the lepers were praying men. They cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” They asked the Lord to help them. The ten lepers were also obedient men. When Jesus told them to show themselves to the priest to prove that they were clean, they didn’t say, “We can’t go. Look at us. We have no fingers or toes. We need to talk about this.” Instead, they went immediately. Also they were believing men, otherwise they wouldn’t have obeyed Jesus’ command. Jesus hadn’t healed them yet, but they believed in Him enough to do whatever He said, knowing He would come through for them.
Yet despite their obvious spirituality, only one of them returned to thank the Lord. Jesus was shocked by their ingratitude. When the one leper thanked Him, He didn’t say, “It was nothing. Forget it. You don’t have to thank me.” Instead, He said, “Where are the other nine? Were not ten lepers cleansed?” The lepers were praying men, obeying men, and believing men—but they weren’t thankful men. Their faith was incomplete because they didn’t praise God. Jesus healed them, but they didn’t receive the full blessing which the tenth leper received. After all, Jesus told him, “Your faith has made you whole.”
There once was a man who praised God so much that people called him “Hallelujah Smith.” We should all strive to earn that same first name. The Bible says God works all things for our good. Therefore, in every situation, let us give thanks, especially on Thanksgiving.
Today, think of something you haven’t thanked God for yet, then lift up a prayer of thanksgiving. And this year, make Thanksgiving a real “memory of the heart.”