A wise mentor of mine challenged me to think about this: what if everything you have not thanked God for was taken away by tomorrow? Yikes! How many things could you think of that you need to be thankful for? My list would be endless: my hands, my feet, the ability to get myself out of bed…that I can hug, express love, laugh at a joke, access running water, eat apples, drink coffee, smell pine trees, feel sunshine, inhale fresh air to breathe, remember precious memories, hear beautiful music, learn and grow and change and on and on and on…
“Praise the Lord Oh my soul, and do not forget all His benefits!” Psalm 103.
In Psalm 68 we are reminded that, “He daily loads us with His benefits!” And best of all: He does not treat me as my sins deserve! “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us!” Psalm 103:10-12. So very much to be thankful for!!
I Need The Lord’s Help To Be Thankful
But despite all of this, do you ever wake up and every. single. thought. is negative? I need my heart to be cleaned! I need to be washed in the truth and refreshed by God’s presence! I can go into my closet, shut the door, literally get on my face and let Him clean out my heart. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t do this, my heart will become diseased by the germs of pride, fear, anger and disappointment. Jesus promises us that we will face trials of many kinds BUT to take heart because He has overcome this world! (John 16:33).
In just minutes of concentrated time, Jesus can create in me a clean heart by His amazing grace, love and power! How? If I concentrate on Him, bow low before Him, meditate on His word and ask Him to help me…He will!
The No Joke Necessity of a Thankful Heart
I want to share with you precious, invaluable treasure from God’s Word. No joke, these scriptures on thankfulness have changed my life! An old time preacher, Derek Prince, long since passed away, gave a powerful sermon on these truths, and I pray they will impact you like they have me. I am learning more and more about the importance…the absolute necessity…of thankfulness. I encourage you to keep reading and take these words to heart, beautiful people!
God commands us to be thankful:
“Be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.”
Do NOTHING without giving thanks for it:
“Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit to each other out of respect for Christ.”
Failure to give thanks quenches the Holy Spirit:
“Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Holy Spirit.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Thankfulness is essential in our prayers and in receiving peace:
“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”
Thankfulness is the first stage of approaching God:
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; enter his courts with praise! Thank him! Bless his name!”
there are 3 unchanging reasons we thank God:
1)Because the Lord is good, 2) His mercy lasts forever; 3) His truth endures generation after generation.
Let’s look at the opposite of being thankful:
“Although they knew God, they did not honor God as God, or thank him. Instead, their reasoning became pointless, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
To be unthankful is to be unholy:
“People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God. They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this.”
2 Timothy 3:2-5
Murmuring (complaining) is a sin that invites the destroyer:
“They marched from Mount Hor on the Red Sea road around the land of Edom. The people became impatient on the road. The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why did you bring us up from Egypt to kill us in the desert, where there is no food or water? And we detest this miserable bread!” So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people and they bit the people. Many of the Israelites died. The people went to Moses and said, “We’ve sinned, for we spoke against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord so that he will send the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.”
Thankfulness is how we draw close to God; to have a thankful heart is truly a necessity for a flourishing relationship with Him. As I have written these scriptures on my heart, I have felt closer to Him than ever before. It’s just right to be thankful…it just makes sense…no matter what is happening temporarily, God is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations! I leave you with this: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Thank You, Lord!