Kelly is such an outgoing person.
Liz is a very happy person.
Ginger is a compassionate person.
It seems like my minds is always connecting people with a characteristic or attribute or when I think of a trait I often associate it with a person.
What about thankfulness?
Is thankfulness an attribute that is evident in my life?
When I think of “Thankfulness” the first two people to come to mind are the biblical individuals David and Paul the Apostle.
In the Psalms I can almost hear the voice of David as he sings songs full of praise and thanksgiving!
Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever. – Psalm 106:1
Paul is the one who writes to the Churches “In everything give thanks.” [emphasis mine]
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Think about Paul, he had it hard. A group of men vowed to not eat or drink until they killed him, he was let down the wall in a basket to escape being murdered, he was shipwrecked, imprisoned… we could go on and on. It seems like Paul was almost always in the middle of a hard time yet almost every letter that he wrote begins with thankfulness to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! When Paul was in the midst of hardship he looked at Jesus!
Consider David, he had it hard. He spent years running, hiding from a powerful king who wanted to kill him. Becoming king sure didn’t make everything hunky-dory, still then he had contentions and people out to kill him, even his own son and his own sin got him into a lot of deep water. David too struggled with unthankfulness, he was human after all, his psalms are riddled with WHY, GOD?! Yet, in those moments, in the midst of sin, strife, fear, trouble, we see David running to God! David lays his heart wide open before the Almighty! David knows he cannot hide his sin stained heart from God and he is confident that his salvation comes from God. Intertwined with those heart-wrenching Psalms we find Psalms saturated with praise and thanksgiving based on the attributes and goodness of God! When David struggled, he looked at who God is!
So often I dwell on the hardships of life and discontentment and let unthankfulness creep into my heart. I have a little pity-party, battle to suppress the thought that God doesn’t know what He is doing, fail to look at Jesus or trust in His sovereignty. When the guilt of that sinful way of thinking hits my heart I often feel like I have to get my act together before I can approach God, have to conjure up thankfulness and praise for God before I can speak to Him. How often am I vulnerable with God, like David? God wants a relationship with me! He wants me to bring my sin to Him, He died for it after all, to confess and receive forgiveness!
Let us confess our unthankfuness to God, tell Him our struggles, and what makes life hard. Ask for His forgiveness. Ask for His help. John writes in 1 John 1:9,” if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.” This includes our sin of unthankfulness.
Our Father wants to forgive!
Then let us pour out thanksgiving to our God! Even sing like the Psalmists!
Let us thank Him for WHO HE IS!
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. – Psalm 30:4
Let us thank Him for His SALVATION!
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: – 2 Thessalonians 2:13
Let us thank Him for His PROVISION!
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
Let us thank Him for ALL THINGS! Even those hard things, because we know He is faithful, because we know He loves us, because we know He is in control, because we know it is His will.
When we are tempted to complain, when we see unthankfulness wrapping around our heart let us look at Jesus, who He is, what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do!
When I look at Jesus I cannot help but thank Him!!
Is thankfulness an attribute that is evident in our lifes?
If not, step back and
look at Jesus!
By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15