True thanksgiving comes from the heart

Published 8:59 am Friday, January 25, 2019

Paul wrote, “I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother” (Philemon 1:4-7 KJV). Again, in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4, Paul wrote, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren, His choice of you.”
Paul believed that gratitude was a sign of genuine faith. And in Romans 1:21, Paul condemned Gentiles who no longer “thanked God.” Paul knew that Christians were to “always thank God in their prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2). Paul commanded in Philippians 4:6, “… in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the attitude of Paul was that he wrote about such things when he was a man who had suffered such great hardships in his life (2 Corinthians 11:22-29). Even so, he would take the time to thank God for his fellow men and for everything in life.
We must know that true thanksgiving must come from the heart. The Christian’s thanksgiving is first brought about by the grace they receive from God. We read in John 1 of the Son of God who was from the beginning determined to die for our sins and the sins of the world. However, many refuse to see and accept the grace of God. As we consider all that has been done for mankind from creation forward, we should truly be thankful to our gracious God.
The Christian must also see that true thanksgiving is partly born of duty. Paul said to the Thessalonians, “We ought always to thank God for you” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Again, he says, “We give thanks to God for you all” (1 Thessalonians 1:2). Paul felt a duty to recognize and be thankful for God’s as well as the blessings he received from his fellow man. We can be no different if we are to be pleasing to God and an asset to the Church.
For the Christian, thanksgiving should be something we always engage in. Thanksgiving, the holiday, only comes once a year, but thanksgiving is every day. Consider the following: (Psalms 50:14 KJV) — “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV) — “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
While I know and understand that many times life throws us a curve ball, we should still do our best to remember the graciousness of our God. We should remember our fellow man in our prayers of thanksgiving as well. My prayer is that all men show themselves not because it is the right thing to do, but because of our character as a Christian. It will please God and bless your soul.
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox