An Attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
Thanksgiving is also defined as a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness. Praise, similarly means to appreciate, to prize—to consider precious, worthy of honor and/or thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and praise go hand in hand. Praise is a sign of appreciation, as is thanksgiving.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. If you give someone a gift and he/she does not express appreciation, it’s likely you’ll feel offended.
Thanksgiving opens the door to the next act of favor. When a person expresses their gratitude towards you for something you’ve done, you feel compelled to favor them again. The more thankful you are, the more doors open in your favor.
Giving thanks pleases God. The psalmist says in Psalm 69:30-31, I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. God is more pleased with your sacrifice of praise than with your sacrifice of money!
Give thanks because God has been good. Despite our shortcomings and faults, God extends his love daily; He watches over you daily. All that we are and have is a testament to the goodness of God. Psalm 136:1 Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Giving thanks continuously is not always easy. Life comes with its challenges; unexpected things can happen. Your circumstances can silence your thanksgiving and challenge your praise. It’s easy to be thankful when all is well; however, if we are only thankful when everything is going well, then how different are we from the unbelievers? We must rise above our circumstances and be thankful! Praising God or thanking Him is not a denial of your circumstances, it’s an acknowledgment of His presence in those circumstances!
As stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Paul understood firsthand the struggles of life. (2 Corinthians 11) He acknowledged that there are varied circumstances - good, bad, undesirable, and unpleasant. Yet, He encourages us to give thanks regardless of the circumstances. We thank God not for the circumstances, but in the circumstance.
Sometimes thanksgiving may occur amid grievance. (Job 1:21) Praising and thanking God has nothing to do with where you find yourself; it has everything to do with the presence of God.
A thankful heart is a sign that you are alive in Christ. (Colossians 3:15-17) Thankfulness must be an attitude of your heart. You have to proactively cultivate a thankful heart.
The Israelites quickly forgot that God had provided for and protected them. Rather than cultivate an attitude of gratitude, they complained (Numbers 11) and grew impatient. Numbers 21:4-6, 6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So, Moses prayed for the people. Ingratitude can shut the door to our blessings.
Ingratitude and entitlement can rob us of a blessing. Of the 10 lepers that were healed by Jesus, (Luke 17:11-19) only the one who returned to worship was made whole. He received salvation beyond the healing- he opened the door for further blessing. He was made whole in body and spirit because he worshiped and gave thanks.
Gratitude produces worship! Sometimes make a public show of your gratitude! We are quick to pray but slow to praise. We do not thank God with the fervency and urgency with which we pray and petition. The thanksgiving seed is always smaller that the prayer request seed. Ephesians 5:20 Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Give thanks for everything, big and small.
Thankfulness is a matter of focus. When you are attentive to the negative, you will not be thankful. When you are attentive to the positive—and give the glory to God—you will be thankful. A thankful heart keeps us humble; it acknowledges that all good gifts come from God (James 1:17) Being thankful is the will of God for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Gratitude keeps us in right relationship with God. We do His will when we thank him in all circumstances. Giving thanks in the midst of problems keeps you aware of God’s presence; it helps you trust him when you don’t understand.
There is always something to be thankful for. Like Daniel, develop a habit of thanksgiving (Daniel 6). Learn to count your blessings, not your wishes. Have an attitude of gratitude!
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)