• Chris Steele

To Think is To Thank

Chris' Corner -- Sunday, November 22, 2020

Our bulletin today has been filled with articles and scriptures on giving thanks and being grateful for our blessings. In situations like the present, it’s more difficult to look on the brighter side and find things for which we should rejoice and be thankful. The dark clouds of life can block our view sometimes and we can’t see the sunshine that continues to shine far above them.

God encourages us to pause often and think of how blessed we really are. For to think is to thank.

Etymology is a term that describes the history of words and tracing the development of their meaning. English belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. So basically it’s a blend of most of the languages spoken in Europe and Western Asia. During the course of thousands of years, English words developed as they were slowly simplified from their original form in these other languages.

An Old Saxon word, “thenkian” along with the Germanic, *thankjan” merged with Old English “pencan” which meant "imagine, conceive in the mind; consider, meditate, or remember.” It became the root of both “think” and “thank.”

It now makes sense to hear, “To think is to thank.” In the early 1800’s, the definition of “think” as a noun was the “act of prolonged thinking or meditating. Once again, how much more thankful we would be, if we were involved in prolonged thinking and meditating on the blessings we have from our Father in Heaven, the Giver of all that is good.

It stands to reason, if we spend most of our time fretting and complaining about what we don’t have, we will have little time expressing our gratitude for what we do have.

The Old Testament writers were very clear on the subject of meditating and being thankful. “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). “My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word” (Psalm 119:148). The general consensus is the same in the New Testament. “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them…” (1 Timothy 4:15). “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom...” (Colossians 3:16).

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul said, “...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The English Standard renders this as, “give thanks in all circumstances…” (emphasis added). By being able to give thanks in every circumstance, would demonstrate we have taken the time to dwell on God and His Word. We have come to realize no matter what is on our plate in life, it’s OK. We can handle it. We are children of the King! We are blessed beyond measure by His powerful hand upon us. We have every help available whenever we need them.

“Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.“ (Psalm 30:4), “...in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

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