Summary: What would happen if we changed from saying, “Poor me” to “Thank you, Lord”? In this sermon I led our congregation to realize that they can Give Thanks for Everything. We can give thanks to the Lord for all things and in all circumstances. I challenged th
Much to Be Thankful For!
November 18, 2007
New Hope Community Chapel
Goal: Changed Lives. Changing from saying, “Poor me” to “Thank you, Lord.”
Main Point: I Can Give Thanks for Everything
What is the one thing I want my audience to know? We can give thanks to the Lord for all things and in all circumstances.
What do I want them to do about it? I want them to consider a way to give thanks no matter what their situation.
What do Thanksgiving, Easter, Pentecost, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. have in common?
They are all holidays which fall not on a specific date, like, December 25 or July 4, but they fall on the “first Monday”, “fourth Thursday”, “fifty days after….”
You see what I mean?
Thanksgiving Day has a special significance to me…
Can’t remember the exact date, but I do remember the year was 1995.
I remember everyone who was there.
My grandparents, parents, sister, Prudence, Laura, me, my friend and next door neighbor, David and Abdi Mohammed (a Somali immigrant I was working with at that time).
Before dinner we went around the table and said what we were grateful for.
I went last. I set it up…
I was grateful for my friend Laura and I commenced by asking her to marry me.
I was more grateful than ever when she said, “Yes.”
I am still thankful for Laura.
We don’t always see eye to eye. She is shorter than me.
Besides, how boring would it be if she were always right like me?
She has a mind of her own.
Her life was going pretty good without me and I am glad I am not the center of it.
I couldn’t take the pressure.
We have 4 (might as well say 5) children and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience of knowing Laura, blending our families together and creating our own.
Of course, there are many, many things that I am grateful for, there wouldn’t be enough time to cover them all…
I wonder if you would also being willing to – in a sentence or two – tell us what you are thankful for today.
Summarize the points made…
Of all of you who are thankful for something – anything, how many of you have perfect, trouble free lives?
I know I don’t.
I wonder if any of us would be honest enough to name a thing or two for which we are ungrateful?
For instance, I am ungrateful every time I get a flat tire.
It’s usually when I am hauling way too much weight on a trailer.
Like when I put 65 sheets of OSB on my trailer that was made to haul a medium sized pile of leaves.
Thankful? Not really.
Maybe I am the only one who is occasionally unthankful… What about you?
Many times when we are unthankful it is due to our sense of self entitlement.
In other words, we think we deserve something and it is not coming.
Maybe things aren’t going my way.
Maybe someone is trying and succeeding at ruining my plans for myself, my family, or my church.
Sometimes we are unthankful because we fail to see the big picture.
After all, we are not God and only He is all-knowing.
We can’t see how it will be when we get through the scenario.
We can’t see what we are to learn from the experience.
We can’t see how God can use it for good.
How can we be thankful for tired and aching bones and muscles?
How can I thank God when I am in the midst of a really trying situation that is doing its best to rock my faith?
I can’t see how it will be when I get through it…
How can I thank God for critical people at my workplace who want to tear apart my style, my method or my ability?
I can’t see what God wants me to learn in a situation like that.
How can I be thankful when health issues plague me, or my family, when I see people suffer or when I lose someone I love?
I can’t see how even God can make those painful things good.
And since we are not in a place of thankfulness, we often find we are in a place of self – pity.
We deserve a better job, car, spouse, house, position, church…
All of this leads to a great feeling of discontent.
And we carry on from day to day failing to see the good in most any situation – only looking at the negative – feeling bad for ourselves, but failing to do anything about it.
It’s hard to be thankful when we feel like we deserve more than we actually have… finances, spiritual things, responsibility, privileges, respect, love…