In one of Asaph's psalms, he quotes God as commanding, "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Psalm 50:14). Paul told the Ephesian Christians to be "always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father" (Ephesians 5:20). According to the command to the Christians in Thessalonica, we are to give thanksin everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). More surprising than that (because, seriously, everything?) is the reason given: "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." In three places we are told to give thanks to God simply because He is good (Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 136:1).

There are lots of reasons to be grateful to God. Beyond the obvious immediate blessings of family, friends, well-being, or the like, there is the very nature of God and His faithfulness to that nature. There is His lovingkindness (Psalm 136:2-3), His wisdom and might (Daniel 2:23), His victory over death and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:57), His gift of Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15). There is His holiness (Psalm 30:4; Psalm 97:12) (which--face it--exceeds our comprehension). There is His providence (Romans 14:6-7) and His presence (Psalm 75:1). Thankfulness is one of our primary means of magnifying God (Psalm 69:30). Perhaps it is this aspect--gratitude for the marvelous nature of God--that makes thankfulness somewhat lacking in the normal human experience. "Even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21).

Thankfulness to God is commanded, expected, and certainly owed. The lack thereof is a human shortcoming and, given that it is commanded, actually a sin. Since God deserves it and it is commanded, I'm beginning to think that one day out of the year is not quite sufficient. But it's a start. Make good use of it. Maybe even start a trend!