The Attitude of Gratitude
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. ~Colossians 3:15
A family assembled around the table to eat. The father looked around as his family looked at the youngest member of the family, who was only four years old. “Son, what are you thankful for?” He looked at the sumptuous spread on the table. He said, “I’m thankful that I’m not that turkey!” Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. While turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are a traditional part of this time of the year, we must not overlook that it is about giving thanks to God. This morning, let us see the attitude of gratitude.
We see a mandate.
Paul told the Christians at Colossae to be thankful. He told the believers at Thessalonica to give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us. The Greek word for “thanks” and “thanksgiving” is the same Greek word for our word “grace.” Thanksgiving is a disposition of grace. We should be thankful when we are hurting. Psalm 119 was written by believers who were hurting and suffering. One of these writers said that at midnight he would rise and give thanks. We should be thankful when we are hated. Daniel did this after a law was passed, forbidding him to pray to God. Daniel 6:10 says, “He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” We should give thanks when we are humbled. Jonah did this and said, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving.” We are commanded to give thanks.
We see a model.
Paul was a very thankful man. He uses the Greek word “charis” 45 times to reference the importance of thanksgiving. Paul gives us a proper model for thanksgiving. Our thankfulness should be repetitive: “giving thanks always for all things.” We should be thankful for our relationships. Paul said, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” He gave thanks for Aquila and Priscilla, for laying down their necks for him. He said, “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph.” Paul was thankful in prison. Paul was thankful for those times when he had little and was abased. He was thankful that he was in the ministry and a preacher of the gospel. He was a model of thanksgiving.
We see a ministry.
Thanksgiving is the attitude of gratitude. It is a ministry that we should exercise always. It should be conspicuous. Paul took bread and gave thanks in front of 275 men on a ship that was in distress on the Mediterranean Sea. His thanksgiving was consoling. He distributed meat and bread to these men and encouraged them to be of good cheer. The majority of the men on that ship were unsaved. In the midst of their fears and grumbling, the Apostle Paul demonstrated real Christianity through thanksgiving. I imagine that Paul’s thankful spirit transformed the dark, gloomy setting into one of hope and faith in God.
On this Thanksgiving morning, be ye thankful. Ingratitude is a slap in the face of our Lord and a grievous sin. Make a thanksgiving list that is equal to your prayer list. Let us thank God for all things, especially for His unspeakable gift.
Have a thankful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Romans 14-16