Summary: The Bible teaches that "GRATEFULNESS" is the normal quality of a Christian’s life
One of the most important qualities we can develop as a Christian is that of "Thankfulness!" There are few characteristics that will influence our lives more than this one ... it can affect every area of our lives positively if we are careful to nurture it in our life! For the Christian this characteristic should not be an option ... this is to be a quality that defines us in this world!
You will never be the Christian you need to be without
"THANKFULNESS" as a major quality of your life!!
The Bible teaches that "GRATEFULNESS" is the normal quality of a Christian’s life ... without it our Christianity would be warped and unproductive!
I. WHEN TO BE THANKFUL
1 Thess. 5: 18 In every thing give thanks
Many times we offer thanksgiving to God only after our prayers have been answered!
Dan. 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Daniel went home to pray and “GIVE THANKS TO GOD AS WAS HIS CUSTOM” ... IN the midst of trouble even when no answers were in sight Daniel still gave thanks to God in prayer!
Many of us our prayers at such a moment would have consisted mainly of requests and petitions to the Lord ... Daniel’s prayers were mostly THANKSGIVING!
This was the great secret to Daniel’s life of power and victory!
DANIEL DID NOT WAIT FOR ANSWERS TO THEIR PRAYERS TO CRY OUT TO GOD IN THANKSGIVING ...
If we included more thanksgiving early in our prayers our petitions would have greater force ... God responds much more clearly to people with THANKFUL hearts than those who do not have one!
Notice we pray and give thanks to God before our meals, not after!
Philip. 4:6: “… but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
What follows prayer with thanksgiving – PEACE OF MIND!
Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Our faith would be revolutionized ... and our complaints diminished if we took seriously this command in 1 Thess: 5:18 "THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!"
ILLUS: One little boy started to grasp this importance when he prayed before a meal that included some items he noticed he didn’t like! "Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I thank you for it, and I’ll eat it anyway ... AMEN!" Some of us could use this prayer for many of life’s circumstances! – Source Unknown
Too often we wait until we get the answers we want to offer thanks to God!
Learn IMMEDIATE THANKFULNESS ... don’t always wait for the answers!
Eph. 5: 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
What do I thank God for, is it open ended or are there exceptions?
a. Do I even thank Him in advance for painful experiences?
b. Do I thank Him for things that make things worse in my life rather than better?
c. Do I thank Him when people I don’t care for are blessed?
d. Do I thank Him for the sermons on tithing the Pastor sometimes preaches?
e. Do I thank Him for trials before I see the reasons behind them?
It is not so much giving thanks for the pain or loss ... but for the good that our Lord can bring even out of terrible circumstances!
It therefore is not a denial of suffering, it is not the absence of tears when hurt comes, it is JUST THE CONFIDENT KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD WORKS OUT HIS GOOD WILL IN US NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE THE ORDEAL - TRUST!
So, yes we cry in trials, we get discouraged in trails we don’t understand,
we are not walking around with a silly grin on our face trying to pretend we don’t hurt or are not confused ... but we hold steady in our faith knowing God will bring fruit out of pruning, that something good can come from trials!
Sometimes trials can simply be God’s way of keeping us from greater dangers or harm, even when we don’t see them immediately!
Unthankful ness will rob us of our confidence in God ... and the joy and peace of our salvation!
II. WHY WE ARE THANKFUL Philip. 1:3-6Rom. 1:21
Why is it so important for Christians to be THANKFUL people all the time?
Because the Bible teaches that the spirit of the age in the last days will be characterized by UNTHANKFULNESS!
2 Tim. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,