Think for a moment. When was the last time was that you thanked God? I want you to honestly think about this. I am not talking about the on-the-go "thank you God for this meal, amen" and not from the heart thankfulness. Not that that isn’t thanking God but what I am asking is: When is the last time you sat in a posture of Thanksgiving with God? When is the last time you thanked God not only for the gifts He has given you but for who He is. If you are anything like me when I don’t feel like thanking God I’m not going to do it! I say this with my arms crossed as I stomp out of the room like a four-year-old.
How do we thank God when things aren’t good? How do we practice thanksgiving to a good God who gives good gifts all of the time as we stare into the reality of a heart-crushing situation or painful circumstances? Today is more of a wake up call for us to check ourselves and get into a posture of thanksgiving even when we don’t feel like it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Consider these Questions
1) What does 1 Thessalonians say about when to be thankful?
2) Does following and obeying God’s will happen easily for you? Why or why not?
3) In Psalm 50:14 what is the one word used to describe the practice of thankfulness?
4) What do you need to let the Lord uproot in you that is keeping you from practicing the sacrifice of thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a sacrifice. Thanksgiving takes obedience. In a consumerist culture where we do what feels good and easiest for us all of the time sacrificing anything of ourselves does not sound very appealing. Greeks tend to be natural leaders and extremely successful, productive people. You may be wondering what does being thankful accomplish?
The practice of thanksgiving is a spiritual discipline that allows us to be fully present in our lives receiving peace, joy and connection with God. These are only a taste of the delicious fruit that comes from learning the art of being thankful.
Recenctly I struggled as my supervisor led us to pray prayers of thanksgiving for what God has done and I could only think of where I desperately need God to move. I felt irritated and frustrated with all the people around me who merrily skipped around the room, holding hands and singing kumbaya. (This is not what they were actually doing but this is what my jaded perspective allowed me to see). I got on my knees and began thanking God for where I was at, for thanking Him for my need of Him and thanking Him for the dry places in my life.
As I opened my eyes I literally had a new perspective. Practicing thankfulness when we don't feel like it allows us to see God. Being thankful in all circumstances opens us up to receive from God exactly where we are at! Thanksgiving keeps us in union with our Father and releases unspeakable joy keeping us present in every moment in a fast-paced world.
I bless you today to be filled with joy as you make thankfulness your sacrifice to God! I bless you to thank Him in all circumstances and that through this you will grow closer to your Abba Father who delights over you with singing today. I bless you to grow so close to our loving God so your thanksgiving will overflow into the lives around you:
Colossians 2:7: Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.