The Power of Thankfulness and Vice Versa
We are soon to celebrate once again the National Holiday known as "Thanksgiving."
We do this every year. Every year we gather together with friends and family for a feast of plenty and, hopefully pause to give thanks for all our bountiful blessings. But thanksgiving should not be relegated to only one day a year. In Psalm 107, it says over and over again, "Oh that men would give praise the Lord for His goodness?" We should be thankful every day for the blessings God has given us.
By giving thanks, we acknowledge God as a power greater than ourselves. We can see the handiwork of the creator around us in many ways every day. As Paul puts it in Romans 1:20 "the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by things that are made?" And yet, some of us fail to acknowledge Him. If all we were left to was our own selves and our own abilities, we would be quite limited indeed. Human beings are finite and limited, but God is infinite and unlimited. He has endowed all of us with special talents and abilities, but we must admit that these are from Him, and that they, although wonderful, are limited. The only being with unlimited power and resources is God. By being thankful, we acknowledge His sovergin control over our lives and His power to change situations and give us more power and ability. To be unthankful to Him is limit our own potential even further than it already is, while to be thankful can cause an expansion of our abilities.
To fail to be thankful to God is to be asked to be left to be on our own--to be forced to depend on our own limited abilities and resources. In the moral realm, this spells absolute disaster. Lack of thankfulness is actually what has caused many of the problems we face today. This is what Paul was talking about in the first chapter of Romans in the Bible. He says "Because when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor gave thanks to Him?Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts?for the degrading of their bodies with one another?." I challenge you to read this entire portion in your Bible, and you will see that the spread of sin and degradation in the world is a direct result of unthankfulness toward God. Unthankfulness toward God led to the degradation of man, who was made in God's image. Think about it. An unthankful person opens himself up to all sorts of passions and desires, no matter how perverse. Unthankfullness removes the restraining hand of God over us and leaves us to our own wichod and perverse bents. Thus, an unthankful attitude is the first step on a dangerous downward spiral. This is true both individually and nationally.
The trouble is that none of us naturally wants to acknowledge a higher power than ourselves, because then we must yield to that power. But what we fail to realize is that yielding to God is the only true freedom. And when we acknowledge Him and begin to be thankful to Him for His many blessings, He will start to bless us more and to show us, if we do not yet know, what is the true way of eternal salvation which He has provided for us. It's no secret, really, and involves another act of thankfulness on our part, that of thankfully accepting the gift which God has provided for us (see Romans 6:23.)
On the positive side, the more we are thankful for the blessings we have, the more blessings we will receive. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 that our prayers should be "with thanksgiving." If we have a problem, we should trust in the promises of God and praise Him for the answer to come.
The first Thanksgiving day happened as a result of the Pilgrams' thankfulness for a bountiful harvest. But they had just passed through a very hard winter. The cold, snow and sleet was exceptionally heavy, interfering with the workers as they tried to construct their settlement. Yet, it is certain that they did not loose heart, but gave thanks even then for the chance they had to begin a new life in the new world. And God honored their faith and thankfulnes with bountiful harvest, which gave them more reason for thankfulness. And God continued to bless them.
Our country was founded upon faith in God. And this is the reason for this holiday we call "Thanksgiving." But we are moving dangerously away from our foundation. It's high time we took this day not just as an excuse to get together with family and friends and stuff ourselves, but as a reminder of the attitude of thankfulness which should be ours every day of the year.
Rev. James M. Becher, Bible teacher, publisher of the "Inspirational Success Tips" Ezine (to subscribe, mailto:inspirationalsuccesstips@Freeautobot.com)and author of "OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM, A Novel of Biblical Times" (See: http://www.publishedauthors.net/jamesmbecher/index.html
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