Thankfulness is at least joy and gratitude for what we have. We are thankful for this life and its abundance, and supremely for the greatest gift of all, new life in Jesus Christ.
My first reaction? How can being thankful guard our lives? Paul asserts here that all our thoughts, ideas, or philosophies, become futile—ineffective, misdirected—without thankfulness to God. Of course, thankfulness flows from belief in, and worship of, God.
If, as we believe, God exists and is relevant to life, then any opposing belief is a poor foundation for life. If we begin buttoning a shirt or blouse with the wrong button, every button is out of place. So it is with life. If we build on a false assumption, all our thinking is disordered and life is senseless.
Thankfulness to God recognizes He is our source and supply. That mindset directs our thinking aright through all the events of earthly life. But of greater consequence, it will direct us through death, the gateway to eternal life. “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Any idea that falls short of this cosmic scheme is paltry and eventually powerless. It may founder somewhere in life, but will certainly fail in death. For death is where the rubber meets the road and our beliefs stand or fall.
We are finally thankful that God is beyond life. We are thankful for His power over the unseen, outside of earthly space and time. Thankfulness places us on a secure path for life and eternity.