Summary: Being thankful for everything.
A Word for Thanksgiving
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
“I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your Name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul”. Psalm 138
“And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So, Jonah was very grateful for the plant.” Jonah 4:6
Are we truly thankful? Are we truly thankful for even the little things that we take for granted? If you’ve been with me very long, you’ve heard me say many times, “Acknowledging and Thanking God for little blessings, postures us for bigger blessings!” That almost parallels the parable of the talents, where we read that the master gives to each according to his ability. God often blesses us according to our ability to handle the blessing and recognize it as a blessing from Him.
Here it is Thanksgiving Day and the weather here is gloomy, raining cats and dogs and making any travel less than desirable. Can we say, “Thank you God for this rain? God my grass was drying up and turning brown. The water conservation authority has ordered very strict limits on watering lawns. Yes God, we would have preferred that you waited until tomorrow to send us the needed rain but then we would be complaining that it hampers Black Friday shopping. So instead of lamenting this rain, we pause and give you sincere THANKS. – AMEN”
I think that’s kind of what Paul was saying to the Thessalonians in the above reading.
In the reading from Jonah, he is miserable and angry. Why? God sent him to Nineveh to preach HIS message to the sinners there. Jonah had previously disobeyed God and instead of going to Nineveh, he went to Tarshish. God wasn’t very happy with him and Jonah had some trials to endure (for a later message). Now God sends Jonah back to Nineveh and he does go and preach – RELUCTANTLY because he doesn’t think these people deserve a second chance, even though God spared him and did give Jonah a second chance. Now isn’t that just a common trait among God’s people? So, Jonah is so miserable that God spared the people of Nineveh, that he sits alone on the outskirts of town in the hot sun pouting and stewing. God takes pity on Jonah once again and causes a plant to grow beside him and give Jonah shade and relief from the sun. But by morning, the plant had been attacked by a worm, shriveled and died. So here sits Jonah again in the hot sun now angry that the plant died. Jonah was very grateful for the plant and the shade, (see Jonah 4:6) but angry now that the plant died.
We can be so grateful when things go our way, can’t we? But just when God directs us or our environment in a direction contrary to our desires, we can become little pouting Jonahs. Nobody is looking over your shoulder, you can answer honestly here. OR, we can offer our thanksgiving and plead our case before the Lord, remaining in submission to His Divine Will.
Today, let us be thankful for every little thing and ask God for mercy and grace where we feel a need.
Let us pray.