On Being Thankful

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Do you ever wait for it? The thank-you that never comes? It hurts, doesn’t it?

Thankfully (no pun intended) in my circle of family and friends, this doesn’t happen often, but in the larger sphere my life shares in, it happens. And I try not to, but I do notice it. Ungratefulness stinks here and I can only imagine how it hurts the heart of God to have given so much for us and to us and yet we can neglect to give Him thanks and praise.

In Scripture, being unthankful is harshly judged. There is a very long sentence in Romans 1 that fills verses 20 – 21:

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, 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.”

Did you know that by being ungrateful your thoughts can be useless? Unimportant. Ineffective. These words are also used to define the word futile. Further, the heart can become foolish, and darkened. A pretty heavy penalty for not appreciating the gifts freely given to us from God. All of them grace.

And in case we didn’t know, let me share, from Titus 3:3, the characteristics of a foolish heart. “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” An unthankful heart can become dark and the consequences of the behavior of that heart are tragic. Many of us have witnessed that this year.

I don’t know about you but I hope you feel like me that those kinds of thoughts and that kind of heart is definitely not the kind you want to live with. I know we are all human and being thankful “in everything,” like we are instructed to in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, can sometimes be a bit hard. Yet, I am thankful for a God that loves us so much that while we were yet sinners He died for us (Romans 5:8) and knows that it can be hard for us. He doesn’t turn away from our prayers. Even the ones that ask for help being grateful when there seems to be little to be grateful for.

In 1 Chronicles 16, there is a beautiful portion of Scripture that my Study Bible names “David’s Song of Thanksgiving.” That psalm is preceded by some history of what was going on at the time. The Ark of God was being brought to the tabernacle that David built for God’s glory. This was a huge deal and there was a very special celebration among God’s people. In verse 4, David appoints certain people to officially record, thank and praise God. Those acts are absolutely essential to honor God, to glorify Him as God. To avoid useless thoughts and dark hearts.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments we are exhorted to be thankful, and we shouldn’t have to have a National Holiday to do it. But it is nice that our nation recognizes and sets apart a day to do just that.

Ladies and Sisters-in-the-Lord, let’s make this Thanksgiving very special. First start by thanking God for who He is and what He’s done for you and then intentionally thank others for the gift they are to you. I am very thankful for whoever reads and is blessed by this blog. I am very thankful for the kind comments you have shared and times you have thanked me for doing this. I do it because I love Jesus with all my heart and I love you, a very special friend and daughter of the King.   

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