Are you thankful? Does your answer depend on the day or how you feel? Have you observed that thankfulness does not come naturally? When we focus on the various circumstances in our lives, we are even more prone to be thankless and ungrateful. The truth is: our fallen human nature is wired to grumble, worry and complain. This explains why we are often shocked by the following verse:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is obvious from reading this verse that thankfulness is a work of the Holy Spirit in good times as well as bad. Daily irritants threaten thankfulness but they are also opportunities to call out to God and walk by the Spirit. As we allow God to control our lives, He gives us His perspective instead of a purely earthly one. The Christian life is a marathon not a sprint!
Almighty God is all powerful. Thank Him for His power to help you.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:5
The cares of life very quickly choke out thankfulness. It is impossible to be thankful while focusing on our circumstances but we can remember to call on God in our circumstances.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
We are often not thankful because we don’t have what we want. God says when we have Him we have everything we need.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
Thank God that He is sufficient to handle whatever comes your way.
Come to God with Thanksgiving
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 95:1-2
Thankfulness is an expression of gratitude and nothing honors God and pleases Him more than when His children are thankful and grateful for His Presence in their lives.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Psalm 95:6-7
Kneel in humble submission to His will and acknowledge that He is God and you are not! Thank God that He is so personal and that He lovingly cares for you.
Many are thankful for creation but never give thanks to the Creator. Thank God for revealing His glory in creation.
In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His for he made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:4-5
Thank God that He created you and that He loves you enough to personally work in your life. Thank God that you belong to Him and that in each trial or irritant, He is working to conform you more and more into the image of Christ. Jesus is so worthy of our worship and any sacrifice made.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
Thank God that He knows the burdens that you carry. Confess your need of Him by giving Jesus your burdens in exchange for His peace .
Jesus says to each one of us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Thank God that He is always with you. As soon as you call on Him, He is there.
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
With God’s help, let us step into His Presence by remembering our Lord throughout the day and watch what happens in our hearts.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8
When we thank God, we are drawn to God! Thankfulness is the antidote to bitter, negative thinking. When we are thankful in God’s Presence, we worship Him. Thankfulness is a privilege, not an obligation.
God is Good!
Trials are a pressure cooker for the temptation to doubt God’s goodness. No matter what trauma or circumstance you are in, God is good! Many live in constant disappointment because they believe that life on earth should be like life in heaven; no trials, no pain and no sickness. An earthly perspective rather than a godly perspective hinders thankfulness. When we are not thankful, our hearts become darkened and we lose perspective. We begin to grumble and complain. Grumbling grieves the Holy Spirit of God, clouds our vision and hamstrings the Holy Spirit. We begin to accuse God and doubt His care for us. We doubt that God is good! A thankful heart can be restored by confessing envy, bitterness, anger or an unforgiving heart. Thankfulness draws us to God and counteracts our natural instincts.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Read God’s Word daily and refocus your thoughts on God:
They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered then from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 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 107:5-9
Notice that those in Psalm 107 cried out to the Lord in their trouble. Do you? We often have not because we ask not. Thank God that He is good and that He answers prayers!
God is Good Even in Trial
God makes all things work together for my good. Remember this truth always, especially in trial:
I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26
Thank God for His strength and peace in the midst of difficulty. God answers prayer and He is pleased to show you that He is trustworthy. It is music to His ears when you trust Him; when you surrender your problems to Him and say, “your will not my will be done.” God is always working for your good and His glory! Thanking God is a work of faith and trusting God will quiet your heart.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether will fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
A thankful heart is not in denial of reality, rather thankfulness refocuses our eyes on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We choose whether to be grateful or bitter. True thankfulness begins by focusing our mind on who He is and all that He has done.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Keep Us from Forgetting You, Lord
We often forget about God once our day begins and we engage in the tasks set before us. We also easily lose sight of God when the worries and cares of this life pile up. A constant focus on adversity and what is wrong in your life will utterly defeat you. We need God’s help to focus on Him and not on ourselves or on our circumstances. A forgetful heart will soon become an ungrateful heart.
Remember this important truth daily:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2
Begin to thank God frequently throughout the day and watch as your perspective changes. Thank Him in every situation and pray without ceasing. It is hard to complain and worry when your heart and mind are filled with the Spirit of Christ and thankfulness.
Be filled with the Spirit. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18, 20
Allow thankfulness to rule your heart and the Lord will come into view.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:15, 17
Because we are forgetful creatures, God instituted practices in the church to help us to remember Jesus. Communion is a way for assembled believers to remember the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, as the source of our spiritual life. Thank God always for your salvation in Christ.
God also instituted many feasts for the Jews and one of these celebrations was the Feast of Tabernacles. The people were reminded how God delivered them from bondage in Egypt. Israel’s thanksgiving feast was not conditioned on a bountiful harvest. Through feast or famine, the people were to remember and thank God for His goodness. This principle of thanking God for His goodness in good times and bad still pleases God because He never changes. We too often forget the benefits of being a child of God.
Taking time each day to spend with God in His Word and in prayer will help a forgetful heart. Allow God to fill your heart and mind with thankfulness for all that He has done in your life.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
May God help each one of us to have a godly perspective.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3;17-19
Thank God Always. May your thanksgiving overflow to the glory of God!
Take the Time to Read and Study God’s Word for Yourself
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Request the Bible Study: Study the Bible to know God personally
Personal Bible for “Thank God Always”
Week 1: 1 Chronicles 16:8-11; Psalms 7:17; 9:1-2, 10; 46:1-3; 69:30-31; 73:23-26; 92:1-8, 12-15; 95:1-7; 100; 103:1-6; 107:1, 5-9; 118:24; 136; 145; 147:5; Habakkuk: 3:17-19; Luke 17:11-19
Week 2: Matthew 11:28; Romans 1:21; 7:24-25; 8:1-2, 18, 28-30 Corinthians 15:56-58; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 9:8, 10-15; Galatians 5:16-18
Week 3: Ephesians 3:20-21; 5:18, 20; Philippians 2:14-15; 4:4-7, 12-13, 19-20; Colossians 2:6-7; 3:1-2, 15-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Week 4: Hebrews 12:28; 13:5; James 4:1-3; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Peter 1:3; Revelation 7:11-12
This personal Bible study concludes the blog post, “Thank God Always.” It may be helpful to first read the post and then do the Bible study: http://diggingdeeperheargodspeak.com/thank-god-always/
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