Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness -- An Acquired Taste

5 Reasons to Acquire the Faithful Character Trait of Thanksgiving

Being thankful is a natural honest response of someone who realizes he has been given something that is valuable, beyond what he earned or deserved. The word asks in 1 Corinthians 4:7 “what do you have that you did not receive?” In other words we brought nothing into this world, we did not create any of our faculties, aptitudes, or abilities that make us who we are, or do anything to cause us to be alive. God knew every aspect about us long before He knit us together in the womb. It isn’t that we have a checklist of twenty things we are thankful for, but rather there is nothing outside of the incredible treasure that we have been given. All any honest man can do is acknowledge he is blessed and thank the One who gave him the blessings.
In contrast, the person who refuses to give thanks begins a downward spiral of delusion and pride. Romans 1:21 explains that “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” The person who will not acknowledge God as his creator or be thankful to God for who he is and all he has been given does not think with true understanding and easily becomes captured by false pride and desires. This lack of thanksgiving is the key to a person developing a hardened heart that is closed to having a true relationship with God or being able to receive further from God. Verse 22 continues that this person claims to be wise but actually is a fool.
The word of God continually exhorts us to humble ourselves by understanding who our Maker is and what He has called us to be, then walking in an attitude of gratefulness and obedience. Psalm 100 reminds us Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
The just shall live by faith according to Romans. The book of James furthers this truth to explain that faith is shown by works, or more simply obedience. So when 1 Thessalonians 5:18 declares, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” it becomes both an act of obedience to give thanks and an act of faith, trusting that God is able to work all things for good to the one whose heart is right before Him.
Finally, God is worthy. Revelation 7:12 declares that "Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor…belong to our God."

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