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Expressing Gratitude for His Love and Protection
As a child most of us are taught to say, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome.” Our parents would constantly remind us to “mind your manners.” For some of us, it may have taken longer for these lessons to sink in. No doubt, having learned these lessons, you have passed them on to your children.
Gratitude and thankfulness are important qualities to hold. People who are thankful are happier people, and are likely surrounded by friends who share this same trait. Appreciative people are likely to concur with the Apostle Paul: “...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).
Thankfulness Expresses Gratitude
Those who are born again in Christ Jesus are called to be thankful because we have so much to be thankful for. Our thankfulness is our attempt to express our gratitude for the many blessings that come upon us. Though Satan and his minions attempt to attack us or even try to sway us, we are ever thankful for His protection.
Job was ever thankful even while Satan smote him. Much calamity befell Job, yet he was thankful to God for all he had. His wife berated him and his three friends tempted him to speak against God. Yet, Job refused to speak ill of his Lord.
“I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin... My face is foul with weeping, and my eyelids is the shadow of death; Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure. O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place. Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.”
In the King James Bible there are 135 separate verses that refer to the act of giving thanks. The giving of thanks is pleasing to God and is part of how we worship him. The book of Psalms reminds us to offer up thanks to our Lord a multitude of times. Here is one of the many:
“To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”
Be Thankful For What You Have
Each and every day, upon awakening, we should thank Jesus for giving us another day. Nothing on this earth is guaranteed, except the love of Jesus. Share this love with family, friends, and strangers. It is our great commission to go out and spread the gospel.
As humans, being covetous is a sin we sometimes suffer from. Sometimes we tend to focus on what we don’t have. By being thankful, we are reminded how much we have. If we focus our attention on what we have, rather than what we want, we shall be a much happier person. Do not take things for granted or you shall lose your perspective.
We should be thankful for not only the things in our life, but also for circumstances we do not like. If we thank God for our blessings, there is no room for bitterness. Donít thank Him for harm He does not cause, instead thank Him for giving us the strength to endure:
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Why Wasn’t Jesus Thanked More?
Jesus ministered to thousands of people, yet there are relatively few instances where He was thanked. The leper from Samaria was only one of the ten Jesus healed as told in the gospel of Luke 17:12-18:
“And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers...they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us... And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks... And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”
The “Woe is Me” Generation
Today, manners and common decency have taken a hiatus. Truly, one must only look at the news—be it national or local—to see the lack of respect for our fellow man. Self-centered individuals protest alleged injustices that have befallen them. “Woe is me” seems to be the new battle cry.
People seem to never be satisfied with what they have. Material possessions are now the new standard by which all things are measured. The great falling away of the church is gaining speed as it hurtles on this downhill slide. Pastors who man the pulpit refuse to embrace the full counsel of God, opting instead to preach lukewarm sermons as they plead for more money.
The rebelliousness of society today mirrors societies of the past. Paul wrote of this problem in his letter to the Romans: “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21).
Paul was great at encouraging us to be ever thankful. He began each of his letters, except Galatians, with a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God. Even during troubling times he was content in whatever state he was in.
Please, consider this—as we give Jesus thanks for His grace and mercy, His grace becomes even more abundant in us. How powerful a message is this? We truly serve a loving master.