Colossians 2:6-7 –“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, keep on walking in Him, having been rooted and continually being built up in him and being established in the faith, accordingly as you were taught, overflowing in it in thanksgiving.”
God has an interesting, complementary balance between our understand of thanksgiving and faith in their respect points of focus upon God’s providing for what His children need. This chart pictures this balance of these two with obedience.
|The Biblical balance of||Gratitude,
|Which looks to the||Past||Present||Future|
|Our focus is on God’s…||Provision||Presence||Providence|
|Within each we have…||Response||Resolve||Requests|
|Toward each we express…||Appreciation||Assertion||Anticipation|
In this Biblical balance, we look at the past with Thanksgiving and to the future with Faith, where faith and gratitude are “one bolt of cloth” separated by “now.” Thus, our faith gives way to gratitude, as a response to grace. To put it another way, our faith looks back to the past, as gratitude, and to the present, as obedience, and to the future, as hope. Our focus is on God’s provision with Thanksgiving and God’s providence with Faith, as we come into God’s presence with obedience. We respond with Thanksgiving and make requests in Faith and resolve to obey. We express appreciation in Thanksgiving and anticipation in Faith, and assertion in Obedience. On the other hand, faith expressed for things in the past is pointless, and gratitude for things in the future is presumptuous. We would have a more proper understanding of thanksgiving by expressing that “we will be grateful” about someone doing something in the future rather than putting it that “we would like to thank you in advance.”
It is of interest to note that during the Jewish New Year’s Day, called Rosh HaShannah, which is designated “The Feast of Trumpets” in the Bible in Lev. 23:23-25 celebrates this balance. Their civil year begins in our September or October and continues with the 10-days of Awe toward Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It is a Memorial Holyday with Shofar-trumpets blown some thirty times. There is a special Convocation of Bible Reading and with Reflecting on the Past and Rejoicing in the Future with this balance of Thanksgiving and Faith.
Thanksgiving does involve thoughtfulness. Some theorize that thank is related to think, as sank is the past tense of sink. Sincere and careful thanksgiving does involve some thinking.
So then, just as you were saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, live your Christian life the exact, same way. You have been planted in Christ Jesus by your solid faith in him and daily are becoming more like Him by what you believe about Him and in Him, just as it was all explained to you with your overwhelming response of faith, as gratitude toward him.
Faith calls for gratitude. That is why faithful believers are grateful believers.