Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Pastor Robert Zemke

This week, we are reminded to give thanks. We will gather with family and friends and most likely go around the table and have everyone share what they are thankful for. We know it should be a daily part of our lives rather than seasonal. Even the world knows the value of thankfulness and not being bitter, as seen in the many self-help books written to encourage the “power of positive thinking.”  It is better to see the glass half full and to be thankful for what you have than to focus on what you do not have. It is common sense living. Thanking the universe for your life or an impersonal god might have some benefits, but when tragedy strikes, and difficulties mount up with no eternal paradise in your future – your thanks will be muted. 

“For all that is in the world-- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). If our lives are directed by the world, dissatisfaction is bound to be present. 

Christians have much more to be thankful for. We are called to think about things worthy of praise, which can increase our thankfulness.  

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

Increased thankfulness is not the power of thankful thinking or ignorance of worldly problems but walking with Jesus so that we have his peace. God's spirit fills you with his presence in any circumstance so you can give thanks. It is a spiritual practice of following Him daily that leads to thankfulness and that leads to joy. We are to look to Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
So, start giving thanks daily, not only for what the Lord has given you but primarily for who he is and what he has done for you. Our circumstances can change, but he does not change. Scripture repeatedly encourages us to give thanks:

  • I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
  • Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 5:19-20)
  • Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!  (Psalm 100:4)

I pray that you will have great joy as you give thanks this week and bless his name.