Having a Thankful Heart
“The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.” --Robert Louis Stevenson
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Each year at Thanksgiving, we all take a minute and thank God for His provision. But what about the rest of the year?
When was the last time you thanked God for...
- Your Car -- Instead of thanking Him, we often think, "I'm tired of driving the same old car. If only I had ___________."
- Your Clothes -- We may think, "I'm tired of seeing the same clothes in my closet."
- Your House -- Instead of thanking Him for our living arrangement, we say, "I'm tired of doing all of this yardwork or house repairs."
- Your Food -- I know most of us (including myself) give the generic prayer at dinner, "Thank you, Lord, for the food and bless it to the nourishment of our bodies." However, when was the last time you really meant this prayer? When was the last time you opened up the pantry or fridge and thanked God for the food He has provided? If you're anything like me, you spend more of your time complaining about what you don't have to eat.
- Your Job -- Most people are unhappy with where they work or who they work for. When was the last time you thanked God for providing you a job that pays the bills?
It's easy for us to complain about the things we have or don't have, or grumble about our current situation.
Being thankful promotes contentment. Jerry Bridges in his book, The Practice of Godliness, says...
"Thanksgiving will promote contentment about possessions, position, and providence by focusing our thoughts on the blessings God has already given, forcing us to stop spending our time yearning for things we do not have."
When we give thanks to God, we acknowledge His goodness. We humble ourselves before Him and realize every gift we have been given is from above (see Acts 17:25; Matthew 5:45). Even our abilities have been given to us from God. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, "You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
We serve a good God Who cares for us (Psalm 145:9) and provides for us (Matthew 6:26). Because of this great truth, we should give Him thanks. In fact, there are approximately 140 references in the Bible instructing us to give thanks.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend some extra time thanking God for all the gifts He has given you. Let this Thanksgiving pave the way of giving God thanks for the rest of the year and into 2015.
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." - Psalm 100:4-5
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