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?