Summary: God's will is for us to be thankful in all situations.
A soldier stationed on an island of the Philippines during WW II told this story: “Although the region was secure, sometimes the enemy tried to infiltrate our food storage area. One such adversary, dressed in GI clothing, once worked himself into the noontime chow line. Our camp cook spotted him, reached under the serving table for his pistol and yelled for the MPs who were patrolling the area.
“After it was all over, we asked the cook how he knew the man was an enemy soldier. "I figured it wasn’t one of you guys, he said, "’cause he was coming back for seconds."
That enemy soldier stood out because he was a thankful person. Likewise, God tells us that we should stand out as thankful people.
2. Paul has several themes that run throughout his books
a. Faith – Hope – Love; Fruit of the Spirit; Works of the Flesh; Second coming
b. Thanksgiving is a major theme for Paul
3. 1 Thessalonians 5.16-19
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.
4. Thanksgiving is a theme of bible – Psalm 100, etc.
I. Thanks-Giving is an Expression of Faith
B. Thanks-Giving is More than Attitude, It is Action
C. For Us, it is an Offering – Hebrews 13.15
II. Thanks-Giving is a Discipline
A. Discipline Requires Practice – It Does Not Come Easily
1. Instructions from Scripture
2. Assistance from the HS
B. Danger of Taking things for Granted – Remember, It All Comes from God – James 1.17
1. Someone wrote: “Our power is shut off, and suddenly we become thankful for electricity. Our garbage is not picked up, and suddenly we become thankful for the garbage collector’s weekly stop. A good friend dies, and suddenly we discover how much he meant to us. Our water becomes too polluted to drink and suddenly we appreciate having good water.”
2. Remember the 100 ways to thank God during the Day!!
C. It’s Easier to Complain
There was once a lady who complained about everything and everybody. Finally, her neighbor found something that she couldn’t complain about. The lady’s crop of potatoes was the finest for miles around. He said to her, “For once you must be pleased. Everyone is saying how splendid your potatoes are this year.”
The lady glared at him and said, “THEY ARE NOT SO BAD, BUT WHERE ARE THE ROTTEN ONES FOR THE PIGS?”
1. Israel – Numbers 11.1
And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.
2. Warnings for Us – 1 Corinthians 10.9-11
9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
Philippians 2.14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
III. Thanks-Giving is IN Every Circumstance
A. IN, not necessarily FOR Every Circumstance
The famous Bible scholar Matthew Henry was once robbed of his money. Later, he wrote these words in his diary, “First, let me be thankful, because I was never robbed before. Second, let me be thankful that although they took my money, they did not take my life. Third, let me be thankful that even though they took all I had, it was not much. Fourth, let me be thankful that it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed others.”
B. Things Work for the Good – Romans 8.28
1. In the midst of Chaos God can Shine
2. Joseph Learned this Lesson in Egypt (Genesis 50.20)
IV. Thanks-Giving is God’s Will for Us
A. God ALWAYS Has Our Best Interest in Mind
B. Benefits of Gratitude (Huffington Post 4.1.2015)
• Improved physical, emotional, and social well-being
• Greater optimism and happiness,
• Improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crises
• Increased self-esteem
• Heightened energy levels
• Strengthened heart, immune system, and decreased blood pressure
• Improved emotional and academic intelligence
• Expanded capacity for forgiveness
• Decreased stress, anxiety, depression, and headaches
• Improved self-care and greater likelihood to exercise
• Heightened spirituality — ability to see something bigger than ourselves
1. For what do we give Thanks?
• Provisions – Matthew 15.35-36
35 And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.