Reasons for thanksgiving

Why can we be thankful?

The Apostles’ Creed, along with Martin Luther’s explanations of the Articles, can go a long way in outlining our reasons for daily thanksgiving to God. The wording of the Creed and the explanations describe the only true God and his workings in our lives.

Martin Luther’s explanation of the First Article provides reason number one for thanksgiving to God: “I believe that God created me and all that exists, and that he gave me my body and soul, eyes, ears and all my members, my mind and all my abilities.

“And I believe that God still preserves me by richly and daily providing clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, spouse and children, land, cattle, and all I own, and all I need to keep my body and life. God also preserves me by defending me against all danger, guarding and protecting me from all evil. All this God does only because he is my good and merciful Father in heaven, and not because I have earned or deserved it. For all this I ought to thank and praise, to serve and obey him.

“This is most certainly true.”

Luther’s explanation of the Second Article provides a second reason for giving thanks to God: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord.

“He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death.

“All this he did that I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness, just as he has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.

“This is most certainly true.”

Luther’s explanation of the Third Article gives us a third reason to thank God: “I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him.

“But the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

“In this Christian Church he daily and fully forgives all sins to me and all believers.

“On the Last Day he will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

“This is most certainly true.”

When we think of who God is and how his love affects our very being and life, we will have reason to do what the psalm writer instructed: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1).