When it comes to being thankful and giving thanks, we can be funny with what we think. If we are honest with ourselves, many of us enjoy being on the receiving end of thanks, more than the giving end. We can tend to enjoy the praise, accolades and applause, etc… And sometimes to some of us, expressing thanks can make us feel weak and vulnerable.
Especially us men, we think we have to project a manly image of toughness and so we can become detached and unemotional, because we think we are protecting our persona. But is this what God expects of us? The answer is no!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 is a powerful scripture that declares a simple truth we should master if we are to embody the culture of heaven on earth. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Most sermons about giving thanks highlight that we must embrace all circumstances, both good and bad and give thanks because that’s the will of God. For most of us, that’s tough to embrace when we face dark situations, to think this is God’s will. But let me bring to light another aspect of this verse and draw a different application out of this scripture, one that focuses on “Give thanks…” being “God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Thanks-giving, not only the holiday but every day, should be something we exercise and work to master in our lives because this is God’s will for us.
Giving thanks is a principle of the Kingdom of God; here are some reminders about thanksgiving.
1. DO IT NOW
1 Chronicles 29:13 says “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” (emphasis mine) God exhorts us to thank Him, and that word now is key because it carries the meaning that a grateful heart should express thanks right there and then.
When I decide to wait to thank someone for helping me or compliment someone on a job well done, I can tend to forget or think myself out of it if I don’t do so right away…do you do the same? Whether our hearts are thankful to God, our spouse, relatives and friends, let’s work on expressing thanks NOW, not later!
2. DO IT FROM THE HEART
Thanksgiving should be heartfelt, in fact we appreciate it when someone thanks us and sometimes you can tell they are literally wearing their emotions on their sleeve. There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting the heart lead us, in fact many issues in our generation show evidence of heartlessness. Expressing thanks from the heart makes us more effective – vulnerable perhaps, but in a good kind of way. Of course we use our minds to articulate our thanks, but something heartfelt is more powerful than just a collection of well articulated thoughts.
Psalm 138:1 reminds us “I will give You thanks with all my heart.”
3. DO IT MORE OFTEN
Ephesians 5:20 says “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If we are to thank God always and for everything, we can certainly do a better job with those around us and thank them more often. The simple truth is that we often don’t look for reasons to thank people and can come across as ungrateful sometimes due to distractions in life. Our Pastor this past Sunday, reminded us that being thankful not only is great for the people receiving thanks, but when we exercise it, it changes us to be more thankful and grateful to people and God.
In addition, giving thanks will:
- Bring honor to God
- Encourage fellowship and friendship with people
- Demonstrate God in and through us
- Transform us
- Strengthen our hearts and give us satisfaction
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we do have much to be thankful for, now let’s verbalize the reasons and thank those who have contributed to our lives, God first and then everyone else.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.