Today is the Monday of the week of Thanksgiving. I am trying to put a week's worth of work in just a few days so that I can enjoy the national holiday with my family. Many people on social media take the month of November to tell the rest of us what/who they are thankful for, and I sometimes do the same thing. It was a family tradition on Thanksgiving to go around the table (if we were at only one table) to tell each other one thing we were grateful before saying a final blessing and eating our feast. It was also a tradition to watch TV specials and movies, especially ones that we had seen many times before. [Now, the only tradition I follow for Thanksgiving is eating!]
When people on TV would say what they were thankful for, did you ever wonder who they were thanking? "I am thankful for having my family here around this table, even though the dog ate the turkey." Often, there was no prayer said at the table, just people digging in. I have several friends who do not believe in God. They thank "the Universe" for what they have. In everyday life, one may say "thanks" to someone who has performed a service, like to the person handing you your food or groceries or held the door for you. But, who are you thanking for your family members, your home, your job, your vehicle, your health, your upbringing, your freedom?
Some people just state that they are grateful for all they have. That's nice to know. What do people say, though, when seemingly bad things have happened? I do not know too many non-Believers that are grateful for the bad things. Many do not look beyond their immediate situation. As many jokes that there are about how bad this year has been, I do know that there has actually been good things that have come from it. What seems really bad now may lead to something much better later. Believers can stand on the promise given to us in Romans 8:28 (English Standard Version):
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
As Believers, we know Who gives us all that we have. It all belongs to God. Our Freedom was paid for by the death of Jesus Christ. We are not shout to the Universe that we are grateful. We are supposed to tell God "thank you" for everything.
Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.