It’s thanksgiving here in the US, and the question for this post is, are you thankful? With all of the distractions and the ever growing needs or wants list unrelenting, stuff and problems have the capacity to become completely all consuming. Maybe thanksgiving is a great opportunity to get back to the basics of what it is we ought to be thankful for. I mean, sure, we should be thankful for all of the pleasures in life that we have been given to enjoy. But some things we enjoy actually go for granted until of course we lose them.
The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. ~Job.
The book of Job is a good one to see what it means to be thankful for what you have, and an example of what a Godly response is when we lose things. So I wonder, how often are we bitter or covetous about the things that we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have? That’s something we should each take stock of in my opinion.
Are we Thankful?
Have you ever given someone something as a gift, or had given just for the sake of giving, and experienced absolutely no sign of any form of thankfulness in return? I’ll bet when that happens to most people you kind of regret having done whatever the good deed was. A gift, favor, anything. One thing that you may want to think about before falling into a special type of bitterness reserved for those who go un-thanked, is how God the Father must feel. He gave his Son in our stead to die so we didn’t have to suffer for all of eternity. And what thanks does he get? He died for all, what percentage of the earth’s population even believe that?
When participating in the last supper, Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine and in the end said, “do this in remembrance of me.” I had obviously paraphrased that. But I would go one farther, and say do all things in remembrance of him. Not just communion. Everything you do, do it in remembrance of him. It may not be long before you see a few things. One being how many things that you do that you may not want to thank the Lord for, because you know that he isn’t for it in the first place. Second, you may come to realize how many things that you should be thankful for that are completely taken for granted. Here’s a list of what we may take for granted that we’ve might not even considered giving thanks for:
- Our working eyes. Are you reading this? Than you have a reason to be thankful. Three reasons actually. Eyes that work, internet access, and a device to use it on. And even a fourth, electricity to make it happen, etc., etc., etc..
- Do your ears work? If you can hear anything at all you should be thankful.
- Can you speak? Some people can’t. Be thankful.
- Can you walk?
- Can you use your hands?
- How about your legs?
- Are you healthy?
- Can you smell things?
- Can you taste food?
- Did you wake up this morning? Some people did not.
How much farther can that list go? I’d imagine it could go on for quite awhile, but I think you get my point. Mundane, simple things that we take for granted, are usually the things we miss the most once they are removed or no longer work. So be thankful for what you have, not ungrateful for what you don’t have. And the one that we ought to always be thankful toward is the Father himself, who has given us all things from Heaven.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
In Everything give Thanks
Here is one of my most favorite group of scriptures because of how powerful it is once you understand how many questions it actually answers.
1 Thessalonians 5:15-19
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit.
If you’ve been keeping up with this site these verses may be familiar to you. We went through these in more depth in the post Knowing the Will of God. Even so, how simple are those verses to read? Everything made very clear, quick, direct, and to the point. However following through with this simple list is another story completely. We’ll just concentrate on the part about ‘in everything give thanks.’ Have you ever tried to be thankful for everything? All (the last time I was informed about it), means all. That would mean the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be thankful for all of that, why? You’ll find that this is one of those topics that separate those who feed off milk, and those who can handle the meat of the Word. I believe that these instructions can be achieved by learning how to do the following:
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
And it also helps to come to terms with the following:
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
The answer to the question “why” when we should be thankful for all things is because if we have our complete trust in the Lord, we understand that no matter the circumstances, the Lord not only has control over our lives if we allow him to do his good pleasure, but also has complete control over our future. Bending to the will of the Father I would say is step one to everything after being born again. And in that small handful of scriptures, the Holy Spirit has given us clear instruction what God’s will in Christ Jesus is for us.
Also remember, that we are to walk by faith, not by sight. When things look bad, maybe they are bad, but that’s a good time to remember that verse, along with several others I’ve included in this post. Just because we wind up going through things that we hate, doesn’t mean it’s time to blame God. Ask yourself something, Did you follow that pattern of scripture? Did you render evil for evil, or perhaps neglected to follow that which was good? Be honest with yourselves, don’t blame God!
But if you wind up having to go through something having not swerved from that verse, keep on with the list. Rejoice because God is likely going to do something when the time is perfect. Pray without ceasing concerning the matter. And be thankful for it, whatever it is, and thankful to God for leading you by the hand in order to grow or to simply provide your answers to whatever the issues are.
There’s no reason to blame everything we go through on God. Oftentimes, it’s our own doing that gets us into a mess in the first place. Just being honest with ourselves is a universally huge step to moving forward with just about anything. Especially getting out of a mess. So be thankful that the Lord is paying attention! Remember, all things (good and bad) work together to achieve the same end which is GOOD, to them who Love God, and they who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
A Thankful Heart
So pray that the Lord maintain inside of you a thankful heart! And ask that he open your eyes to the many things that we may be thankful for every single day, not simply just for the holidays. Thanksgiving should be going on every day in your walk with the Lord in Christ Jesus.
Be thankful, Keep the Lord Jesus in remembrance in all that you do! And I’d like to express my thanks to you for reading this post! If it’s been a blessing for you, or you think that it may bless someone else, please share this post with your friends and subs with the share buttons either below this post or over to the right of your screen. Also I’d love to hear about the things that you are thankful for, so please leave a comment in the comment box below! So again I’d like to say:
Doing these things really helps to get the word out there, and really contributes to helping this website grow! Thank you all for your participation with this site and reading, “Are you Thankful?” God bless all of you and I pray that in the name of Jesus, you have a truly blessed holiday in the Lord! May your turkeys come out just right!