All of life is a response to God; we are constantly reacting to Him, every thought and every act resonates with how we feel about Him. Are we responding to Him more out of unmet expectation and disappointment, or in gratitude and thanksgiving? Our core orientation here tends to define who and what we are, as much as anything can.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, deep down all of us know there is a God and that He is absolutely sovereign (Ro 1:20), governing all of life’s twists and turns. (Ro 11:36) We can be angry with Him for allowing sin and death or for not catering to us the way we’d like … or we can stand in awe of Him, amazed at the breathtaking beauty of His Creation, and that He’s willing to die for us, taking our place on an old rugged cross, bearing our sin and shame. Every one of us is constantly responding to an ultimate primal Goodness.
God calls us to respond to Himself with thanksgiving, giving thanks as a constant pattern of life, not in shallow half-hearted gratitude but in passion and sincerity: “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith … abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Col 2:7) Cultivating a thankful spirit, learning to trust that God is good, and to experience His goodness and glory even in the midst of darkness and trial, is the journey of a lifetime … one well worth the taking.