We are rightly thankful when we can have our hearts more enlarged for spiritual than for temporal mercies: ‘Blessed be God, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings’ (Eph. 1:3). A godly man blesses God more for a fruitful heart than a full crop. He is more thankful for Christ than for a kingdom. Socrates was wont to say that he loved the king’s smile more than his gold. A pious heart is more thankful for a smile of God’s face than he would be for the gold of the Indies . (pg. 133))
As I prepare this post I am listening to the podcast of “The Way of the Master Radio” from last week’s tour of Europe . Just as I was typing this, I heard Todd Friel quoting from his “favorite Puritan, Tom Watson”. He articulated the first three sentences from the section I have selected below:
If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply humbled with the sense of your own vileness. A broken heart is the best pipe (Todd said "instrument") to sound forth God’s praise. He who studies his sins wonders that he has anything and that God should shine on such a dunghill: ‘Who was before a blasphemer and a persecutor, but I obtained mercy’ (I Tim. 1:13). How thankful Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace! A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on all his mercies as either of his own procuring or deserving. If he has an estate, this he has got by his wits and industry, not considering that scripture, ‘Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth’ (Deut. 8:18). Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian, think of your unworthiness; see yourself the least of saints and the chief of sinners, and then you will be thankful. (pg. 138)
Thanksgiving had better not just be a date on our calendars.