Summary: Discover why we should be thankful to God, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Why Be Thankful?
In recognition of the holiday before us, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about being thankful. I’d like to begin with a story.
In regions of Mexico hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry, boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs.
A tourist watching this procedure commented to his Mexican guide: "They must think Mother nature is generous to freely supply such ample, clean hot and cold water."
The guide replied, "No senor, there is much grumbling because she supplies no soap."
We have much in this country, but it seems no matter how much we have, we usually find something to complain about. The next time you’re tempted to complain about something, think about these statistics.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world¡¦s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend church meetings without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion in the world.
And if your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States.
We need to break out of this negative cycle of grumbling and complaining and learn to be thankful people. Tonight I’d, like to share with you three good reasons to be thankful.
1) It is God’s will
1 Thes. 5:18
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)
And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father. (NLT)
God commands us to be thankful. As with other commands from God, He tells us to be thankful for our own good. I’ll talk more about this in point #3.
2) It brings honor to God
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God." (NLT)
How does this “sacrifice of Thanksgiving” honor God? When we thank God in the midst of difficult circumstances, it shows Him that we are focused on Him and not ourselves. It is a position of humility, recognizing that God is far greater than we are and we ought to follow His ways and not our own.
The Six-Inch Nail
At one time at the City Temple in London, there was in the congregation a wealthy restaurateur named Emil Mettler. Mettler would often do not allow a Christian worker to pay for a meal in his restaurant. Once he happened to open his cash register in the presence of a Secretary of the London Missionary Society and the Secretary was astonished to see among the bills and coins a six-inch nail.
“What was it doing there?”
Mettler explained, "I keep this nail with my money to remind me of the price that Christ paid for my salvation and of what I owe Him in return."
Never forget what Jesus did for you on the cross and always remember the thanksgiving that we owe to him.If nothing ever goes right for us ever again, we can still be thankful because of what Jesus did for us. Now, let’s look at the benefits of being thankful.
3) It is part of the process that brings peace in our lives
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)
This is a promise from God. If we don’t worry about anything but instead pray about everything and tell him what we need and thank him for all he’s done, we are guaranteed to have the peace of God in us. Being thankful is a very important part of the process because it keeps us focused on the goodness of God and his ability to take care of us. This in turn stirs up our faith and helps us to remain calm and peaceful in the midst of difficult circumstances.