Summary: The bible gives clear instruction on how to have an attitude of gratitude.
How To have An Attitude of Gratitude
November 18, 2001 FBC Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
1. Doesn’t it seem like we start looking at Christmas a little sooner every year.
A. We walked through the Wal-Mart at the end of last month (October) and they were already putting out tree’s, garland, yard displays....etc.
a. Before too long...we’ll start seeing Santa in July or August so we can get a jump start on our xmas shopping.
b. Christmas makes us think of all things we don’t have....but we want to get them.
B. Thanksgiving is quit different.
a. It is that special time of the year when we think of all that we DO HAVE and we’re thankful we’ve got it and also...who gave it to us.
b. We take our minds off our wants and focus them on our blessings.
*Thanksgiving gives our minds a rest from thinking about our problems and lets us remember how few problems and needs we really have.
*Thanksgiving allows our hands to rest from labor and lift them in praise.
2. Today we will look at the message "How To Have An Attitude of Gratitude".
A. We will look at several verses today, however they will have to do with helping us have an attitude.
a. 1TH 5:16 Be joyful always;  pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
b. The Bible gives clear instruction on how to have an attitude of gratitude. ESS
B. Thanksgiving is more than the third Thursday of November. (ESS)
a. I hope you’ll decide to do what it takes to have an attitude of gratitude. (Objective)
b. What is AWOL (absent without leave) from your attitude?
T.S.:Let’s look at two essentials that are in an attitude of gratitude.
1 The first essential in the attitude....is to be content.
A The apostle Paul knew all about being content...no matter what the circumstance.
 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
b Paul had been beaten, scared for life, stressed, imprisoned, permanently injured, could have applied for disability and social security benefits........but he had an awesome attitude of contentment.
*Whether he was in prison or at home.....
*Whether he was being persecuted or preaching......PAUL WAS CONTENT
I want to know.....What was his secrect?
B Secret: Contentment comes when we learn that this world will never and can never satisfy us.
a People live their lives in a world of "If only’s....."
*If only...I had this....this was different...I could do that....this had not happened in my life.
b True contentment only comes from your relationship with God.
And I--in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
C William Randolph Hearst, publishing king pin and the pseudo subject of Orsen Well’s Picture Citizen Kane, saw a piece of artwork in book that he had to have.
a He sent a man all over the world tracking down this piece. After six months of searching...hundreds of thousands of dollars spent...the Hearst’s man found the painting. It was in a crate in one of Hearst’s own warehouses.
*He acquired the painting in an earlier transaction, along with some other paintings.
*What he really wanted......he already had.
b Everyone of us who are in a relationship with Jesus Christ already have the source of our contentment.
*You may be looking, searching, hunting for contentment.......you already have it! Uncrate it!
T.S.: Being content is essential, but it’s not enough if you really want an attitude of gratitude.
2 The second essential in the attitude is....be happy.
A Jesus tells a great story about choosing to be happy.
a The owner of a vineyard went out early in the morning to hire workers to pick grapes for a $20. Around lunch time the owner goes out and hires another group of workers for $20 and then again an hour before quitting time, he hires another group for $20.
b When the guys who had been since 6:00 a.m. got the same as the guys who had worked only an hour got the same pay...they were mad!