Summary: Understanding what God says about being THANKFUL: Genuine Gratitude
November 18, 2018
GratitiTUDE – AttiTUDE - AptiTUDE
I want us to view THANKSGIVING in a very personal and individual way. Families and friends will gather this week around a festive meal or gathering and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It is quite common to pray and express sentiments of thankfulness at this time and rightfully so. We all have many things to be thankful for. Where I am going with this has more to do with a life of thankfulness rather than a scheduled day set aside for that purpose.
If we are to live a life of thankfulness, we must incorporate the essentials. I call these essentials the THREE TUDES of THANKSGIVING. The bible addresses each one of these “tudes”. Let’s look at what God’s Word says:
1 – “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7
2 – “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
3 - “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
4 – “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
There are many more but, of course. We simply need to absorb His word which means we develop that sense and expression of GRATITUDE in all that we do. Looking back at last week’s message – can we be grateful when we have overcome pain and suffering? I would say most assuredly! What God is saying is that our faith should allow us to be grateful in ALL things. During pain and hardship, we can be grateful that there is mercy and peace that awaits us.
My sister-in-law lost her battle with cancer two days ago. She suffered tremendously for a solid six weeks while her sister and nieces sat with her around the clock. She made all the decisions as to treatment, surgery and eventually hospice, we all knew she was at peace with her decision. The final question that the ministering physician asked her was: “are you ready to be greeted by God?” Her response was immediate and lucid: “yes”!
We as family all take comfort in knowing that she was ready, grateful for the peace that came with that decision and that at the very instant of her passing, she was in the arms of her Loving Lord. We will have a small private memorial service, she will not be there. She is in that glorious place that we know as heaven. Yes, we are grateful, even in sadness and mourning.
That brings us to the second “tude”
1 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
2 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
3 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
Just what is our attitude, when it comes to being grateful? It can be simply resolving to accept whatever and live with it, like it or not. I’m not sure how that attitude resonates with gratitude. I believe God would have us express to HIM from the heart just how grateful we are for whatever circumstances we are in and pray for His guidance and mercy in overcoming those things that in the mind do not lend to gratitude but from the Christian heart certainly do. So, can we say that keeping an attitude of gratitude in all things is something that we strive for and admit to God and to ourselves that we need HIS help to do that. We can no more fake attitude than we can fake any of our faith and walk.
Actually, we may need to ask ourselves, do we even have the ability to maintain an attitude of gratitude.
That brings us to the third “tude”
1 – “He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail” 1Samuel 2:9
2 – “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24