How Thankful Are You for the Gift of Life?

We can take life for granted. But knowing how and why God gave us life should humble us and make us very thankful. What should you be thankful for about life?

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a day set aside for us to be thankful for all the things we have in life. Yet all the things we have are useless if we don’t have one thing.


But what is life anyway? Is it merely an existence that lasts for a few short years and then ends forever? If life is completely ended with death and that’s all there is, how can we really be thankful for life?

Is there a real purpose in life?

Many believe that human beings are simply the result of millions of years of evolution. If that were true, then our lives would have no real purpose.

There is a popular slogan, “You only live once!” This leads to the belief that we should acquire and enjoy as much as possible before we die and cease to exist forever.

But we don’t want to die. Deep down, each one of us desires to continue to live. 

The Bible tells us this desire to live forever was put in us by our Creator (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Only human beings have this desire. Animals do not ponder eternity or try to prevent death at any expense. The self-awareness that humans have is part of a spiritual element given to man, called the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8).

Life is not a result of happenstance; the Bible clearly reveals God to be the source of life. Life is not a result of happenstance; the Bible clearly reveals God to be the source of life. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life” (John 1:3-4).

We exist because God gave us life! 

But unlike the animals, mankind was made in the image and likeness of God and given dominion over the animals and the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). Being in the image and likeness of God means that we can think, reason and plan as God does (although on a much more limited scale at this time).

Why did God give us life?

When God created mankind, He made us from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). We were created as physical matter with temporary bodies subject to corruption. Yet God’s intention was—and still is—to change us to an eternal and incorruptible spirit composition.

The physical dominion God has given mankind now is only the beginning of what He wants to ultimately give us. 

The incredible future God has planned for us should both humble us and make us deeply thankful. 

Baby Gazing at Mother

Every human being is born with the potential to live forever as children in God’s family.

Notice what the Bible tells us about God’s reason for giving you and me life.

Mankind’s dominion over the earth is only the beginning of an eternity of rulership. We were created to become children of God sharing His glory! “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons [and daughters] to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).

Notice how the apostle John puts it: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! . . . Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-2).

This incredible destiny God has for us is a reason to be thankful for life! God created you and me with the potential to become His children and live for eternity in His Kingdom!

To learn more about the purpose of your life, read “Why Were You Born?

What does God expect of us in return?

But before He gives us eternal life, God requires certain things from us in this life. What are some of those expectations? 

We read this in Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” The fear of God is having a deep reverence and respect for His authority over our lives and a deep appreciation for His blessings and works. 

We must value the sanctity of life, which includes the lives of those yet unborn.Part of that fear includes being thankful to God for giving us life and for all the good things He has done and continues to do for us (James 1:17-18).

We must value the sanctity of life, which includes the lives of those yet unborn.

Recognizing God’s authority means that we should strive to obey Him. As the Giver of life, He gave us laws to govern our lives—primarily the 10 Commandments. These commandments show us how to have a fulfilling life. They show us what is right and what is wrong, and He gave them to us for our good, with the purpose of keeping us safe. 

If our lifestyle is or has been contrary to what God expects, then we need to be willing to change and do what He requires. This includes the process of repentance and accepting the gift of Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of all humanity (Hebrews 10:12-14).

Are you thankful for life?

Yes, God’s purpose is ultimately to give us eternal life—and a better, more abundant life today. But we must first demonstrate by our actions that we appreciate and value this temporary life He has given us now before He will give us a life without end. 

When our actions reflect thankfulness and gratitude to God, accompanied by obedience to His commandments, we position ourselves for God’s blessings. 

Life is a gift from God. 

The question we must ask ourselves is, How thankful are we for it?

Topics Covered: Christian Living, God’s Plan

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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