Blessed Thanksgiving to all!
Even if you live in parts of the world where this national holiday is not celebrated, please join us in giving thanks! God’s call for all of us is to be an extravagantly grateful people. When our gratitude diminishes, our joy goes with it, and life becomes a more difficult journey.
Reflect for a moment on a few points about gratitude from Scripture.
1. A moderately grateful person or Church is not walking in the will of God, by the power of the Spirit of God or in the way of love.
- The will of God – “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
- The Spirit-filled life – “…be filled with the Spirit … always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18, 20).
- The life of love – “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (I Corinthians 13:7, NLT).
2. A grumbler and faultfinder is certainly not a hope-filled witness to the good news of what God has done for us through Christ.
- “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:14-15, NLT)
- “These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage” (Jude 16).
Some final thoughts on thankfulness
- The Christian life cannot be lived as God intended apart from a perpetual dialogue of gratitude toward God and others. Initiate an intentional dialogue of thankfulness today. Start with a purposeful week of gratitude ands watch how it grows. What if God made you live today on only those things you thanked Him for yesterday?
- We all have bad days when we’re not the most cheerful persons. And there are proper ways to express disappointment. Yet we need to become more mindful of our witness for Christ if our attitudes are creating a negative reputation.
- Those who walk in God’s will are distinguished by a grateful and gracious disposition. How can we expect people to believe our message of hope when our lives do not reflect hope? How can grouchy people share a gospel of grace? So if you’re a critical, crabby, grumpy grumbler, please don’t tell people you’re a follower of Jesus Christ.
- Have you become a moderately grateful person? Are you slow to give thanks and quick to complain? Your heart has drifted from the Lord if you fit these descriptions.
- I invite you to turn to the one who can restore the joy of your salvation and learn to be amazed each day that God, “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10).
- Remind yourself each day of something that cannot be changed no matter the circumstances of this life — “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:21).