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Summary: Having an attitude of gratitude begins with trusting God and keeping in constant prayer to Him.

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The Habit Of Gratitude

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:6

I received an email recently, promoting a motivational book on the subject of gratitude. What really impressed me was the quote which inspired the writing of this book. The quote is attributed to a woman by the name of Vivian Green, who among other things is an artist. The quote is: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain." This quote captured for me the essence of what should be in the heart of every child of God, the attitude of thankfulness in all things, the habit of gratitude.

I. Thankfulness Is Expected

A. It is a hallmark of His people

1. The scriptures are full of admonitions and commands to give praise and thanks to God (over 500 occurrences of thankfulness in Scripture.) Read Psalm 100

II. Our Thanksgiving is Public (vv.1-2).

B. We are to Shout to the Lord.

1. V.1 begins, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord.” The KJV says, “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.” Whether we translate the word “shout” or “noise” the meaning is volume! We are to vocally proclaim our joyful thanks!

In English, the word “thank” means to “express gratitude or appreciation.” However, there is no Hebrew word with this meaning. Rather, the Hebrew word yadah means literally “to make public acknowledgment.”

In the Hebrew mindset, it was never enough to thank God quietly or privately. In the mindset of Psalm 100, true thankfulness cannot be kept quiet.

Some say, Sure I’m thankful, but that’s just between me and God. It’s private. That’s like saying, I’m thankful for my great parents, but because it is private, I would never tell anyone how great they are. It’s like saying, I have a wonderful wife, but our relationship is very personal, so I can’t tell anyone how wonderful she is.”

Hey, when we have true joy, it shows. The question is not whether or not we “shout.” The question is whether or not we are “joyful.”

C. We are to Gladly Serve the Lord.

1. The Psalmist also says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Originally this referred to the service in the Jewish temple, the service of worship.

God has done so much for us! We have so much for which to be thankful. We should be willing servants.

We’ve all seen people serve the Lord with their hands or their head but not with their hearts. Underline that last word “gladness.” We serve Him because we are thankful.

Pollyanna and the “Glad game.”

a. We should be mindful of all God's blessings.

D. Some are not Thankful to God as They do not Know God.

1. Look closely at v.3, “Know that the Lord, He is God.” That is a simple but profound statement. “It is He who made us, not we ourselves.” Have do we have that was not made possible by God?

Romans 11:34-36 (NASB) For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

A. When we know who God is, We Will Give Him Thanks.

1. We have every reason to thank God, even more so if we are His children, saved by faith in His Son.

Psalm 100 says, “We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” As the Great Shepherd, He cares for our every need. We have a purpose, a reason to be truly thankful.

III. Continually Giving Thanks

E. As a sacrifice to God

2. Colossians 3:15 (NASB) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, and be thankful.

a. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB) in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

b. Ephesians 5:19-20 (NASB) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

3. Hebrews 13:15 (NASB) Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

F. The Fruit of the Lips

4. We no longer sacrifice the blood of animals

a. Christ has offered one sacrifice for sins forever (Hebrews 10:12).

Instead, we offer the “fruit of our lips”

a. In this are included all prayers, praise and adoration as well as thanksgiving.

b. These are not to be offered only once each week, in a worship service, or praise service, but continually. “Always giving thanks” (Ephesians 5:20).

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