Aspiring to a Heavenly Thanksgiving in Light of Eternity
“All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’” Revelation 7:11–12
As the boys and I were out running errands, we arrived at Trader Joe’s and parked in the middle section of the isle of the lot. We were getting out of the car, when Nathan suddenly exclaimed, “Thank you God!” Intrigued and puzzled as to why my three-year old son spontaneously felt a call to worship, I asked him what he was thanking God for. To this, he replied in a matter-of-fact way, “For this parking spot mom.” We hadn’t parked in the nearest spot and there was plenty of open spaces… Then, I remembered that a few days earlier we had been praying for a parking spot after having been already running late and in a busy area in Los Angeles where parking was scarce. I had asked the boys to pray we would find a place to park and our prayer was answered so we thanked God.
We truly can find so much to be thankful for everyday if we take time to pause and count our blessings. God not only provides us with food and clothing, which is all the Bible says we need to be content. On top of all the little things, he has given us the best gift in salvation through Jesus! When this world looks dim, Christians have a sure Hope that this world is not the end. We, believers, can give thanks regardless of our circumstances because we await a heavenly dwelling and a sweet eternal union with our Father and our forever family. In Revelation we get a glimpse at what Thanksgiving is like in heaven! Firstly, He is the object of our praise and thanks. Secondly, our thanksgiving will never cease. This means that we can thank God in the wonderful things He provides, in our mundane and ordinary moments, and in the catastrophic events of our lives.
God alone is the object of our thanksgiving in heaven! Picture the majestic scene as myriads and myriads of thousands of angels along with the church — redeemed men and woman of every ride and tongue and nation join in an exhilarating chorus of praise. They are so blown away by God that they simply fall on their faces and worship! What is their sole concern during this climatic moment? It is not themselves or who will be there. It is not what they are wearing at this royal celebration or what delicacies would be served. Their focus is not even on their surroundings as glorious as heaven must be; it is on God alone! They long to see Him glorified honored, praised and given thanks as he rightly deserves for his splendor in holiness, gracious redemptive plan, kindness to reach sinners and the magnificent beauty of his love. Gloria Furman reminds us where to direct our hearts, “We need the compass of eternity to direct our perspective. “ (Treasuring Christ When You Hands Are Full, P.52) There is ample cause to give thanks when we look heavenward to behold who God is, what He has done in our lives, the wonders He is still doing and the glories to come.
Best of all, Thanksgiving in heaven will not be merely for one day out of the year! It will go on forever and ever. We don’t have to wait till we reach the shining gates of heaven to give thanks like this, nor do we have to stop giving thanks the day after Thanksgiving. God reigns as King overall in our past, our present circumstances and our future forevermore; thus, we can be filled with thanks through every detail of our momentary lives as it all works out for our good and His glory!
“And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God saying: ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” Revelation 11:16–17