Living thankful lives doesn’t come natural. Gratuitous living and giving is not easily found or attained. There’s very little “thank you” in the world. As a matter of fact it seems that a spirit of entitlement is increasingly more prevalent.
Raising children, we find that gratitude must be taught. All Moms and Dads know this. How many times did you say to your children after some kind thing was done for them, “Now what do you say?” The answer was to be “Thank you”. In time, my children got it and are “thank you” people today…for which I am indebted to God, who made it so.
The scriptures are clear that being thankful is a virtue. Our fallen nature makes it reflexive to be otherwise. But scripture goes on to tell us that those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, having His overcoming Life within, can, and should be characterized by thankfulness and gratitude…at all times, and remarkably so, when things are not going very well, from our view. Thankfulness seems to be one of the convincing proofs, irrefutable evidences that He, God, is in us…proof that a genuine Dynamic is active, producing observable results not commonly observed elsewhere.
If my facts are right, the Apostle Paul mentions thanksgiving 26 times. He indicates it is to be present in every redeemed life. If not, it is a diagnostic that tells us His Saving Life is being hindered.
In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul tells us we are to “…Always give thanks….” I’ve struggled with this personally. But as time progresses and He becomes freer to be Himself in me, gratitude is increasingly on my lips, and most importantly, when I am facing difficulties. What a demonstration of trust in HIM who has promised to be “the stability of our times”, always.
I enjoy photography. Recently, in spite of being very careful, I dropped my best camera and favorite lens on the asphalt…yes, there was a crowd around to see me in that humiliating moment. What seemed to naturally and immediately come from my lips was “…Well thank you Lord…this will not ruin my day….” Did I really say that? Yes, and no one was more surprised than I. Instantly, I felt HIS pleasure because He was able to express Himself in me in a supernatural way. Sometime, I’ll tell “the rest of the story”, the outcome of this seemingly catastrophic event, which very soon, was revealed to be a path to a supernatural event for me and others.
Believe me, I’ve not arrived at all, but I’m so humbled to see that God is able to achieve the impossible and in increasingly so, even in one like me.
If you are not a believer / follower of Jesus Christ, I highly commend Him to you. (The Four Spiritual Laws) He is able…to do all He’s promised to rehabilitate our fallen, corrupted souls (our minds, wills and emotions), restore us to His God-designed and intended function and purposes. And, as that begins to emerge from us, we will be amazed to find and know we are fulfilling the reason we live, move and have our existence…and regardless of our profession or place in life, we will have found “the vestibule of Heaven” our greatest fulfillment, satisfaction and empowerment to be Light in our sphere of influence.
Finally, becoming more like Him, I am,