Gratitude (1 Thessalonians #22)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

If you’re saved, there is coming a day when the only thing on your mind will be how good God is to you.  How many blessings have been bestowed. How wonderful life is because of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the will of God and when He fully redeems your body and you are with the Lord your thoughts will only be thoughts of gratitude.

Gratitude in circumstances

  • In every thing give thanks…
  • Thankful for salvation
  • Thankful for sure mercies
  • Thankful for service
  • Thankful for saints
  • Thankful for Second Coming
  • Thankful for the leading of the Good Shepherd

Gratitude is God’s will

  • …for this is the will of God…
  • You have a choice to make everyday.  You can wake up, turn on the news, pick up a paper and find things to complain about or be afraid of.  And whether your afraid or complaining, you’ll read the same headlines with different names tomorrow. Your attitude won’t change the type of information you’re given yourself to.  You say I’ve got to keep up with current events. Keeping up with them versus completely filling your mind with them are two different things. Or, you can wake up, fill your mind with missionary letters about CURRENT EVENTS where God is working.
  • Acceptable sacrifice to God
  • Psalm 69:30-31 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Gratitude as a Christian

  • …in Christ Jesus concerning you.
  • If you’re lost, without Jesus Christ, you have no part in Christ.
  • As a saved soul you have every spiritual blessing that Jesus Christ has.  As a saved soul you have a sure hope of future physical blessings. As a saved soul you have been given a perspective on events that no one else has.  As a saved soul you have an opportunity to redeem every victimization you’ve suffered.
  • Christians, of all people, ought to be the most gracious, thankful people on this earth.  Whether I live or die I win in Jesus Christ. In Christ, there is no way to lose.
  • James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
  • Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy praise
  • How hard is it to be thankful?  Shouldn’t be too hard. And it’s the will of God so we ought to be motivated to do it.  But as we follow our flesh it is impossible to be grateful.
  • It is impossible to bless someone who only wants more and more.  And we as Christians are so far from living in the Spirit of God.
    • When we ought to be thankful for Christ’s spiritual provisions, we can’t be.  You know to say “Thank You”, but you can’t mean “Thank You” when a new fishing pole, a new vehicle, a new big boy toy is set before you.  And from our recliner, surrounded by stuff, and food, and more stuff you’re told from the IMAGE on the screen why you can’t live without THIS product.  Immediately we’ve got to figure out how to get the new pistol. How to make sure our kids have the new watch, tablet, whatever it is. God’s will is for you to say Thank You and mean it.
    • When we ought to be thankful for Christ’s power we can’t be.  We’ve never battled sin. We’ve never been obedient to the Spirit of God where it required the Spirit of God to do the work.  All of our “ministry” have been in the flesh, carnal.
    • When we ought to be thankful for God’s promises we don’t even know what they are.  We think our house is a promise from God. We think the fishing boat is a promise from God, but it’s not.  We’re like the dad with his wife and two children, who takes them to Whataburger. Orders 4 burgers. Dad eats them all.  Then his kids say, Dad, we’re hungry. Dad, very spiritually says, Well let’s pray God supplies your need like He has mine.
    • And God forbid that we would ever be thankful for problems.  
      • Psalm 119:67-68 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.  Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
      • Like a doctor prescribing a tough pill to swallow in order to get the cancer out.
      • David understood that adversity was the bitter pill allowed by God to root out a cancerous sin.

God’s will is for a Christian to say “thank you” and mean it.  But in our carnality we live such discontent, disobedient lives, our “thank yous” come to be so hollow.

But let me end on a positive note.  God said this is my will. You want to know what my will is for you, it is that you would be grateful IN JESUS CHRIST.  And you have an opportunity right now as we close to come to the altar and be grateful to God Almighty. Really thank Him.  And you’ll be right smack dab in the middle of His will by doing so.