Summary: Does living with an attitude of gratitude depend upon our circumstances - which are always changing - or is true thanksgiving living rooted in a deeper truth? Read on to discover how we can live with thanksgiving in our hearts every day of the year!
Thanksgiving Living! - Psalm 100
Well as I begin this morning I want to share with you a letter written by a young woman who had recently left her home in small town Canada to attend college in the big city. This is what she writes:
["Dear Mom: I’m so sorry that I haven’t written sooner. I didn’t want to tell you earlier, but I broke my arm, and my left leg, when I jumped from the second floor of my dormitory during the fire we had. As frightening as it was, we were very lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department and they were there within minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days but Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day, and it wasn’t as lonely as it could have been. Because it was taking so long to get our dormitory liveable again, I have moved in with him. He’s been great and we’ve grown very close … in fact I want you to know that I am pregnant! It’s o.k. though because we’re going to get married just as soon as Paul can get a divorce. That’s all for now, I hope things are fine at home. I really am doing well and will write more when I get the chance. Love, Your daughter, Susie
P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a "C" in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!" (Adapted from, A Proper Perspective on Thanksgiving, Steve Malone, www.sermoncentral.com)
Well this morning we are talking about Thanksgiving Living, and to live with thanksgiving we need to have a proper perspective on both our circumstances, and on the God to whom we come. Therefore I’ll ask you to open your Bibles with me please to the book of Psalms - Psalm 100. While many of the psalms speak of giving thanks and praising God, this is the only psalm we have that is actually described in God’s word, as a “Psalm for Giving Thanks.” …. Follow along as I read, beginning in verse 1 …
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100, NIV84)
This is the Word of the Lord. May He bless it this day to His glory!
Allow me to ask you a question: Are you living your life with an attitude of gratitude, moment by moment, day by day? Does gratitude flow from your heart? Is thanksgiving frequently on your lips? … See, if thanksgiving is to be found in the abundance of material possessions and the comforts and ease of life, we have far more reason to be grateful than the vast majority of the world. Generally speaking, we have an abundance of food, of land, of possessions, of wealth. We have doctors and nurses and surgeons to help with our health needs. We have a government that has put programs in place to help those who don’t have quite as much. We have easy access to clean, drinkable water. In the vast majority of cases we have far more than we need to simply survive – we have enough to thrive.
And yet is has been my observation, that while indeed it should, that having plenty does not necessarily bring forth an attitude of gratitude in our hearts. Quite the contrary in fact as in many cases those who have the most are often the least grateful. Why is that? Because we take our plenty for granted. We have known no differently, or, if we once knew it, we have since forgotten. We believe it is our due, our right, that it is owed to us. That way of looking at the blessings we have received does not lend itself to living with thanksgiving.
They say “familiarity breeds contempt.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. Typically the more used to something we are, the less we appreciate it for the gift it really is. Take something as simple as our drinking water - When was the last time that you gave thanks to God – real heartfelt thanks – because you have clean, safe drinking water as close as the nearest faucet? Probably never, right? I mean we take it for granted, don’t we? Yet what a blessing that clean, water is! Or consider when was the last time you gave thanks – genuine thanks – for the food on your table? The job you have? The health you enjoy? God knows this tendency of our hearts and He warns us of it in the 8th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy 8 where we read these words …