What Does God Say About Being Thankful?

The prophet Samuel used a special rock to remind him to be grateful.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Ebenezer”? You might picture Ebenezer Scrooge, the character in “A Christmas Carol” who is unkind until some ghostly visitors teach him a few lessons.

But the word is much older than the Charles Dickens story. In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel named a rock Ebenezer! No, it wasn’t his pet rock. Samuel and other Israelites were gathered in a town called Mizpah when they came under attack from a violent group of people called the Philistines. The frightened Israelites asked Samuel to pray for help. Samuel prayed for protection, and God listened. The Israelites defeated the Philistines!

The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 7:12 what happened next: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” Samuel used the rock to remind his people that God had helped them and to thank their Creator for saving them.

What could you use as your own Ebenezer — an object that will remind you to thank God for helping you? Here are some ideas for remembering to be thankful:

  • Think about kids who live in poverty. Many don’t have food, clean water, medicine, doctors, clothes or houses. How is your life different from theirs? Remember to pray for them.
  • Choose a toy or other object to name Ebenezer. Use it as a reminder to feel thankful even on hard days.

Dear Jesus, 

Thank You for giving my family a warm home, medicine, clothing, food, water and the chance to go to school. Please bless the children around the world who don't have these things. Help me remember to give thanks for all the blessings in my life. 

In Your name, Amen.