Happy Giving Thanks
November 21, 2018 // Living Waters Ministry
I can remember singing with the kids in Children’s Church the chorus “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you’. As a child who hasn’t had much experience in this world nor has yet to let life’s circumstances taint their emotions, it is easy to sing the verse without much thought. But as life happens and hurt and the unexpected come; how do we move forward giving thanks in everything? Why does God say we should do this, when life can bring some pretty tough things that cause our words to react more toward blame, complaining and frustration than thankfulness?
I’ve heard thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude. I have said on many occasions that my young grandson Levi, is one of the most thankful people I know. No matter what is done for him or given to him, he always responds with the sincerest “thank you.” His attitude of gratitude blesses me in a profound way. I could sense that maybe he realized unless someone bigger, stronger, wealthier, had freely given or lovingly helped him, it might not have happened. He was thankful for the help or the gift given.
Many times in my busy life I fail to remember that unless God who is bigger, stronger, wiser, richer provided for me, it would not have happened. I’m guilty of ungratefulness. I forget to even say “thank you God” for my food running through the fast food restaurant. I just grab, eat and rush on as if it’s expected. Maybe even down deep I feel I deserve it or at the least I have worked hard to earn it. When this attitude of ungratefulness creeps in, my heart becomes self-sufficient. Did I stop in my rush today to realize I am dependent on God and say “thank you” that I can walk, breathe, move, work, have clothing and shelter and so much more because a loving Father God has provided for me? Does my attitude reveal a childlike thankfulness realizing I am dependent on a loving God for everything I have been given? In the story of the 10 lepers who were healed, I ponder, would I be the one to return and say thank you or like the other nine would I run to tell that I’d been healed without thanking the One who had healed me?
Recently, I participated in a boot camp to learn how to enrich and build a more successful business. Interestingly enough, one of the leaders of the boot camp taught that to be successful in business you need to start each day by writing down ten things for which you are grateful. Easy right? Salvation, Jesus, Family, health, home, job, friends, church, all those things easily come to mind, but after a few days I realized I was having to strain for things on my thankful list. I realized my attitude was not one of true gratitude but one of expectation and minimizing great blessings. I also realized that by doing this simple exercise and committing to listing ten different reasons to give thanks each day it quickly begin to change my indifferent attitude to gratitude. Practicing thankfulness sets a different tone for the day. It helped me to focus on what God had done instead of what needed to be done or what hadn’t been done.
So why does God tell us to be thankful in everything? Foremost, thankfulness changes our hearts. It is hard to be bitter or negative when we are grateful. It is hard to see yourself in control or being the sole provider when we are grateful. Thankfulness brings honor to God. Thankfulness brings peace to our lives. Thankfulness humbles our heart to see God’s goodness to us. Billy Graham wrote in one of his articles, “An ungrateful heart is a heart that is cold toward God and indifferent to His mercy and love. It is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything”. God’s kindness reaches out to us when he calls us to give thanks in everything. Thankfulness brings joy to our hearts where bitterness and disillusionment want to creep in. Thankfulness keeps us from sin. His command to give thanks in everything renews our mind and perspective from our circumstances to faith in God. It may take practice, but once you begin, an abundance of gratefulness can be contagious. An attitude of gratitude blesses us, encourages others and glorifies God. Let’s practice …
- I am thankful for salvation through Jesus Christ
- I am thankful my hope of salvation is not dependent on my good works but upon the finished work of Christ
- I am thankful that I am loved, adopted chosen, forgiven, accepted in Christ
- I am thankful for the Word of God that guides me in Truth
- I am thankful for family
- I am thankful for friends
- I am thankful I am a child of God
- I am thankful that even though circumstances may not be what I think I want, YOU LORD are in control and You know the plan and purpose
- I am thankful that YOU LORD are my provider
- I am thankful the YOU LORD will never leave or forsake me
Happy Giving Thanks ~ Every Day.
By guest author, Lydia Goode
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