Several years ago I had the joy of speaking to a large group of children on the subject of thanksgiving. In preparation I learned how to say thank you in several languages. While I am quite sure that my pronunciation was not perfect, we had fun teaching the kids to say thanks in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. To this day it is the only word I know in most of those languages!
Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is learn to say thank you in our own language. As a small child I remember my parents giving me something and quickly asking, “What do you say?” The longer I live I am convinced that our Heavenly Father is still asking the same thing. Why is it so hard for us to simply say thank you?
Here are a few ways to say thank you to your Heavenly Father:
- With words. The prophet Hosea said to Israel, “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD…” (Hosea 14:2). Yes, He knows what is in our heart but He wants to hear it! And He not only desires it, He deserves it. Thanks is not something you have, something to keep – it is something to give. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
- Through faith and obedience. Nothing reveals a grateful heart more than continuing trust. God has been so good and faithful and we can believe Him now. As we follow Him in simple obedience we are living a life of thanksgiving. “O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of his people” (Psalm 116:16-18).
- By witnessing. When we tell others of our Savior we exalt His goodness in our life. Witnessing is really just praising God to someone else, and it is a powerful way to show your gratitude. Pass it on! Worship and witness are connected. “Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:2-4).
Someday people of every language will gather around the nail pierced feet of Jesus at the throne of God to simply give Him thanks (Revelation 5:9). Don’t wait until eternity to begin. Right now our lips and our lives should give God glory. How wonderful He has been to us all! Use every means available to say thank you.