Real thankfulness is powerful.
It has the power to bless our lives. But the reverse is also true. Unthankfulness has the power to destroy our life.
It is our daily choice.
I woke up this morning to join our friends for morning prayer. As I began to pray I started by recounting the blessings that God has given me throughout my life.
I started with my mother who made the choice as a nineteen year old young single woman to keep me. She chose to give me life despite not knowing how we would make it financially or otherwise.
While at a Catholic convent in New Orleans, she prayed to God and told him that if he would take care of us, she would give me back to Him.
Growing up facing all that we faced as a family, both of us would have never known that I would one day have a family of my own and be serving God in a place like Thailand.
As I moved quickly through my years giving thanks to God, I began to tear up as I considered all that God had done for me, even in the midst of difficult and painful times.
And I knew that I was just scratching the surface.
Time and space would not be enough to recount all that God has done for me.
Beyond our own personal stories, each of us that have the ability to read a blog post like this, because we have a computer and internet access, are daily blessed in ways that we may take for granted.
In a recent article in Charisma magazine, J. Lee Grady reminds of us some of the basic blessings that we enjoy that many in this world still lives without.
Here is the short list:
- Clean water
- A Stove
- Regular Income
- Freedom to Worship
Beyond these, there are countless other blessings that probably come to mind that we can stop and thank God for today.
But what are the consequences of being unthankful? What direction can unthankfulness take us in if we are not actively working to combat its influence in our life?
God’s word shows us clearly that being unthankful is the beginning of a downward spiral leading into darkness, evil, and separation from the awesome glory and presence of God. (see Rom 1:21-25)
When we are unthankful, our hearts can begin to become darkened and we start to really believe that this life is all about us-
- what we think,
- what we want,
- what we feel,
- what we need.
We lose then lose our spiritual vision and claim to be able to see.
We claim to be wise, but we become fools.
We claim to be rich, “prospered”, and have no need of anything, but we don’t realize that we are naked, poor, wretched, miserable, and blind. (see Rev 3:17)
The Scriptures warn us that in the final days before the return of Jesus that the world would live in very difficult times. (2 Tim 3:1-5) What makes the times so difficult? Well, I believe it starts with unthankfulness.
Unthankfulness can come from a heart that makes man the center and God irrelevant to life.
We become people who don’t love anyone but ourselves. We turn ungrateful. Nothing is considered sacred anymore.
We can act religious but we deny the power in our lives to actually make us godly.
Being unthankful and selfish doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in God anymore. It is completely possible to believe in God or believe that there is a God, but not glorify him as God. As Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and not do the things that I say”? (Luke 6:46)
We may be at a place where we see the problem and present danger in our own lives, but we don’t see the solution.
We feel so far away from God that we don’t know where to start. But whether we are close to God in our life or far from him, there is one thing that we can be sure is always the will of God for our lives-past, present, future and in all circumstances.
That is “Thankfulness.” Start there, today and every day.
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Ths 5:8
I hope that if you are celebrating Thanksgiving with your family that you create a time and space for each person to share what they are thankful for this year!
What do you think? How does the practice of thankfulness work in your life? What would you add?
Happy Thanksgiving….today and every day!