WEEK 6, DAY 36: THANKSGIVING
The attitude of gratitude is not the quality of being thankful. It is a heart posture that opens the door into the very presence of God for us. Psalm 100:4 tells us that we enter His gates with thanksgiving.
A thankful heart is the very opposite of a complaining spirit. Complaining happens when we are more aware of a problem than we are of God and His provision. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we’re told to give thanks in everything – for this is the will of God for us. Give God thanks in everything!
THANKFULNESS IS A VIRTUE
Being grateful in every circumstance isn’t natural to us but we have to make a deliberate choice to do so. That doesn’t mean we should give thanks for a sickness or difficult circumstance. That wouldn’t make sense, but it does make sense to remain thankful. We should keep our list of blessings stronger than my list of needs. It’s when we are more conscious of our blessings than our needs will we be able to pray from the heavenly places. Thankfulness is a virtue that changes us and the people around us.
Remember the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus in Luke 17? The ten lepers cry out to Jesus to have mercy on them. When Jesus sees them, he sends them to the priests. In the law of Moses (Leviticus 14) it was the priests who determined if their leprosy was healed. All ten lepers immediately demonstrated their faith by following Jesus’ instruction. They did this even though they still had their disease. And while they were on their way, we find out that “they were made clean.” It’s interesting that these ten, who clearly demonstrated their faith, do not all return after their healing to give thanks to Jesus. Only the Samaritan returned to thank Jesus for his healing.
NUTURE A THANKFUL HEART
Is it possible to be a person of faith yet not have a grateful heart? Jesus addresses the Samaritan who had fallen on his face in gratitude. He said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” But was not this man already well even before he came back praising God and thanking Jesus? The Samaritan’s thankfulness is evidence of his faith. It was his gratitude for his physical healing that shows evidence of a deeper, spiritual healing which is our true salvation.
Many times, people seek God in times of need but forget to acknowledge His mercy and goodness when they have received their miracle. My brothers and sisters this must not be so, let’s cultivate thankfulness instead because thanksgiving brings glory to God (see 2 Cor. 4:15). Jesus asked the healed Samaritan man where the other nine were. God expects us to come back and thank Him. So much so that we’re told over and over in Scripture to nurture a thankful heart.
— Ruth Fraser, Factor M4:6 Inc. ministry and prayer coordinator Unleash Church
TIME TO CONTEMPLATE:
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
A PRAYER OF THANKFULNESS
Heavenly Father thank You for Your incredible power and work in our lives. Thank You for Your goodness, Your mercy and Your blessings over us. We thank You that You are able to bring hope in the toughest of times, strengthening us and making us mature. Thank You God for Your great love and grace. We also thank You that You are always with us and will never leave us. Thank You Jesus for Your great sacrifice so that we might have life and freedom. Please forgive us when we don’t thank You enough for all who You are, for all You do and for all that You have given us. Lord renew our spirits and fill our hearts with love, joy, peace and an attitude of gratitude. We love You and give You all the praise and thanks. You are worthy! In Jesus name.