Be Thankful

October 15, 2015

                                            Be Thankful

Thankfulness is good for the soul.  It diverts our attention away from our pain and problems and focuses it on the good things in life.

The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by 53 Pilgrims in 1621. It lasted for three days.  It was a harvest festival and a time of thanksgiving, all in one.  The governor sent four men out with their muzzle loaders to bring in some game.  The Indians joined them and contributed four deer that they had killed.  Back then they cooked their food outside over an open fire.  They built their humble homes out of logs they cut, trimmed and lifted in place by brute strength.  In the winter the wind and snow blew in through the cracks. If any of us found ourselves in their shoes we would think we were extremely miserable.  They still had reason to give thanks, and so should we whether we have little or much.

Being thankful is not just something to occupy our minds one day or one month of the year.  We should be continually thankful.  There is reason for being thankful every day of the year.  Don’t think that the only things you need to be thankful for are those that are astronomically favorable to you. We don’t deserve anything from God.  All he gives you is of his mercy.  The air you breathe, the food you eat and the bed you sleep on are from his bountiful hand.  Some have to carry an oxygen tank around with them in order to breath.  If you aren’t one of them, thank God that you don’t need it.  If you are one of them, thank God there is such a thing.  Every time you sit down to a meal, thank God for it.  There are some in this world who are starving.  Thank God for your comfortable mattress every time you stretch out on it.  There are those who sleep on the floor, sometimes just a dirt floor.

In II Timothy 3:1-2 we find being unthankful in a list of ugly sins. “This knows also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”  If you are unthankful you are guilty before God.

The words “thanks” and “thankful” appear multiplied times in the Bible.  That should be an indication to us that not only is it important to God, but also that it is a custom of God’s people.

This year many will sit down to the Thanksgiving table, loaded with delicious food, without so much as giving thanks for it.  Why do you celebrate Thanksgiving if you don’t give thanks?  The celebration is without significance if we don’t give thanks.  The whole idea of Thanksgiving loses significance if we don’t believe in a personal God who is the creator and sustainer of life.  We don’t give thanks to happen stance.  If there is no God behind the events of life we have no one to thank for the good that we enjoy.

I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that we should give thanks for everything.   “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” That may seem impossible for some. Surrendered Christians, however, have faith in God that he makes no mistakes.  They find assurance of that in 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.” The acceptance of that truth gives certainty in the midst of trials that would otherwise cause anxiety.  When things go wrong for God fearing Christians they don’t curse God for it.  They just cling stronger to the promise of God.  Job 23:10 says, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

If you are cheerful and thankful it will inspire others to be thankful also. By being thankful you can brighten the day for others.  They may stop to realize that, in reality, they have much more to be thankful for than you do.  If you are a child of God you need to be telling others how grateful you are for what God has done and continues to do for you.  Tell them how thankful you are that you have a glorious future awaiting you in heaven because Jesus died on the cross to make it possible for us to go there.

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