Summary: Christians are usually like other people, but God wants us to be unusualy thankful.
While you are turning there allow me to share with you some unusual things you may have to be thankful for.
“I am thankful for…
*The taxes I pay because it means I am employed…
*The clothes that fit a little too snug because it
means I have more than enough to eat…
*A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home…
*The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking…
*My huge heating bill because it means I am warm…
*All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech…
*The person behind me in church who sings off key because it mean I can hear…
*The piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby…
*The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive…
*This Thanksgiving we hope to pause and give God thanks for all this and more.”
These seem to be some very unusual things to be thankful for…but isn’t that what Christians should be known for? – Unusual Thankfulness.
Listen to what the Scriptures say about Unusual thankfulness.
“18 Give thanks IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
*Giving thanks IN ALL circumstances and… ALWAYS giving thanks to God. – That sound pretty unusual - those are some pricey bills to fill…
Dr. Alexander Whyth of Edinburgh is an example of an unusually thankful Christian.
“He was famous for his pulpit prayers. He always found something to thank God for, even in bad times. One story morning, a member of his congregation thought to himself, the preacher will have nothing to thank God for on a wretched morning like this. But Whyte began his prayer, ‘We thank thee, O God that it is not always like this.” (Fall 2000 Enrichment –pg.130)
There are some people who seem to have mastered the art of Christian thankfulness better than the rest of us…Yet all true Christians should display a certain amount of thankfulness that seems unusual to those around us.
I. What are unusual things that Christians
A) The discipline of God that leads to repentance.
“4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
The Bible tells us here:
*“Not to make light of the Lord’s disciple” – v.s. 5
*”The Lord disciplines those he loves.” – v.s. 6
*When we are disciplined “God is treating you as sons” –v.s. 7
*”No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness. And peace for those who have been trained by it.” – v.s.11
a. In our struggle against sin…The Lord is
disciplining us because he considers us to be
- Wow, that is something to be Unusually thankful for!
b. It is the temporary pain of the struggles of
life that produce the harvest of
righteousness and peace – and help us escape
the eternal torture of sin
-Wow, that is something to be unusually thankful for!
When we put the discipline of the Lord in this perspective it helps us give thanks IN ALL
CIRCUMSTANCES and to be ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD!