Today as America celebrates Thanksgiving I find myself having my own overflow of being grateful and thankful to God for all He has done for me. I believe God is delighted when His people takes time to be thankful for the things in their life. The scripture is filled with many references to being thankful to God. I just have to drop a few in here…
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:20
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 2 Corinthians 9:12
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15
Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 1 Chronicles 16:8
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
Thankfulness should be the norm for followers of Christ, but if most of us stop and listen to ourselves on a daily basis, we may realize that we do the opposite through the way we speak. What we may not realise is just how much it affects our life.
47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (NIV)
The verse above was a message to the Israelites, in the same chapter where all the blessings that comes through obedience were written. When we find ourselves focusing discontentedly on what we don’t have or what isn’t going right, we take our focus off God who can make things right. We also open the door for more negativity to creep in. I like how Jesus puts it…
Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Matthew 13:12 (NIV)
Have you been focusing on what you don’t have more than being thankful to God about what you do have? In life things do go wrong and we will have needs, but never forget that our attitude and the words of our mouth play a big role in how things work out. When our speech is more peppered with murmuring and complaining, that we are warned not to do, then we need to check ourselves for what idols have crept in our heart and stifle our thanksgiving to God.
We are even privileged to be able to pray to God for anything and in every situation. However, as the scripture instructs we need to come before him with thanksgiving. That is not just inserting the phrase “Lord we ask with thanksgiving, amen,” at the end of our prayers, but it is vocally thanking God for things He has given or already done in your life.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalms 100:4
So lets take some time out today and everyday to give God thanks for big things, small things, in between things, in all things. He is our help, our shield, our provider, our Father.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15
Heavenly Father, thank You for everything You have given to us. For everything You have been to us. For everything You brought us through. For everything we have been given through faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You for Jesus and His salvation. In Jesus name, amen.