I think it is safe to say that life is not perfect. The life experience of most people is not a constant stream of happiness. We all experience hurts, we all experience failure and we all experience loss. For some people life feels like being caught in a wave of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams.
How can a Christian living in an imperfect world "abound in thanksgiving"? (Colossians 2:7)
How does the Christian Message cause Thanksgiving?
When sin entered the world, a veil of spiritual darkness came with it. The people that God had created chose darkness instead of light and the truth of God was hidden from them. With no eyes for God and unable to know his ways, we are in trouble, like parents walking through a minefield of toys in the middle of the night. We do not see the dangers of sin because the (sin-exposing) light of the glory of God is veiled.
"For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
The Gospel message brings light into the darkness of our hearts and gives sight to our spiritual blindness. The dangers of sin are exposed and we can see the Savior and his glory. The light of the Gospel beacons us into a restored relationship with God and the safety of his loving grace.
Since we have received this treasure, and God has shone his glory into our dark hearts, we ought to to be the most thankful.
Even in the midst of Hardship
It is this treasure that gives us hope beyond all of our troubles. Because of the Gospel, Christians need not lose heart when we experience hardship. The promises of God supersede any momentary afflictions we might encounter. Paul does not limit the effects of the Gospel in this passage to only good times, Paul is stating that in the midst of hardship there is reason to hope. In the midst of our affliction we can recognize the eternality of the promises of God.
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
With hope of eternal life through the unfailing promises of the almighty God, we ought to be the most thankful.
Praise God for His Wonderful Deeds toward Mankind
This thanksgiving ponder the wonderful deeds of God. Recount the Gospel message in your homes and let thankfulness for the Gospel wash over you. Worship the God of your salvation together for the mighty way that he has saved you.
"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:8-9