Patting ourselves on the back is standard procedure. Patting God on the back is not in fashion. But this is what Thanksgiving is all about. Get the connection, Thanksgiving? Perhaps it’s too subtle. The idea is to give thanks to God for all His goodness and grace toward us as individuals, families, communities, and a nation. God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). This is common love, common grace.
There is also special love and special grace. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). How is this possible? “The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live”(Deuteronomy 30:6, Ezekiel 36:26, John 3:8).
The average American family today has more than kings and prices possessed two hundred years ago. We must give thanks to God for the common everyday benefits that come our way, no matter how meager they may seem. We must also give thanks to God for the special favor of life born of the Spirit. “Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples” (Psalm 117:1).