During the lockdown we have not lacked in the church because the people have been giving consistently even in the midst of hardship. We thank the Lord who has made it possible for us to remain faithful.
WHY GIVE THANKS ANYWAY
It is our response of gratitude, an acknowledgement of what God has done or promised to do. More than that it is an attitude and a discipline that should under guard our Christian life and response to God. We do not respond to God because of our emotions but because we should give thanks.
Illustration: When someone does a good thing to us we respond “thank you very much” even when it is God we respond in a similar way. However from scripture we read that is shouldn’t be our emotional response but we should decide from our will to always be thankful.
Colossians 3:15-22 New International Version
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
When we are committed to the word of God, thanksgiving becomes part of us.
Illustration: When you provoke a person, you get to find out what is on their heart. Similarly, if you have a fruit and desire to taste it, you will bite it or squeeze it then will you know what is inside of it. Therefore, when the word of God richly dwells in us, when faced with difficult situations in life we will still be able to give God thanks.
A peaceful heart is characterized by the peace of God.
All our lives should be characterized by peace; we should operate in an environment of peace. Without gratitude it is impossible to do things in the name of the Lord. So many times we come to the Lord with a grumbling heart and we think He is going to do miracles. We cannot invoke God to act on our behalf when we approach him grumbling.
Numbers 14:26-33 New International Version
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
As we go through difficult circumstances, may God give us a heart of gratitude so that we can offer Him our thanks in those difficult moments instead of bringing him our grumbling heart and attitude.
Ephesians 5:18-20 New International Version
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- A spirit filled life speaks to others with psalms hymns and spiritual songs
- A spirit filled life is always sings and makes melody to the Lord and the Lord receives that melody.
- A spirit filled life is always giving thanks to God for everything
“He who does not think does not thank”
The above Nigerian proverb should help us to think about the circumstances we’ve been through perhaps then we will realise that the Lord was with us even during the most unpleasant moments in life.
BENEFITS OF THANKSGIVING
- It makes God work on our behalf; It makes our prayers effective
- It seals the blessing of God in our lives and no enemy can touch it.
Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 11:41 New International Version
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
Matthew 14:19 New International Version
19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
By the act of giving thanks Jesus activated the miracle God was about to do through him.
Luke 17:15-22 New International Version
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
The leper sealed his blessing when he came and gave thanks for the healing.