Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Blessing of Thankfulness

This weekend I will be celebrating thanksgiving day in Miami, FL with some extended family, and I thought it would be a good day to be reminded that we have an amazing God deserving of all our thankfulness for He has blessed us all first and foremost with life, secondly by giving us His Son as a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10) so that by His grace through faith those who believe in Him may be saved. (Romans 3). Let us also remember to thank God for even the simplest things as I once said to a dear friend, if there is toothpaste in your bathroom, if you have underwear or clean water, or even a decent plate of food at the table, shoes on your feet never forget to give thanks to the One who owns all things and has provided it all, our amazing and exceedingly kind and loving God.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."-- Eph 5:20.
"Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually."-- Heb 13:15.

"SOME PEOPLE seem born with a sullen and feverish temper, and it is very difficult for them to brighten into smiles and songs. But whatever our natural disposition may be, if we belong to Christ it is our bounden duty to cultivate a thankful heart. A melancholy person has a bad effect upon others. It is miserable to have to work with or under a confirmed pessimist. Nothing is right, nothing pleases, there is no word of praise or encouragement. Once, when I was at Aden, I watched a gang of Lascars trans-shipping the mails. It was a pleasure to see them, one after another, carrying the bags cheerily because their leader kept them all the time singing as they did their work. If, instead of finding fault with our employees or servants we would look out for things for which we could commend and thank them, we should probably find a miraculous change in their attitude.
The advantage of joy and gladness is that it is a source of strength to the individual soul, and to all others who come within its range, and commends our Christianity! Sidney Smith says: "I once gave a lady two and twenty recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is, that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than more exalted objects." We may interpret the advice of this humorist and essayist by turning into joyous praise all the incidents of our daily life, arising with gratitude and thankfulness from every good and perfect gift to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is sad, and has to pay her jesters and entertainers; it is a mystery to her that the face of the Christian should be bright and smiling, although the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine. Let us count up our treasures and blessings, and we shall find that even in the saddest and loneliest life there is something to turn our sorrow into singing (2Co 6:10).1

Help us, O Lord, to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. AMEN."

1: Taken from my e-Sword devotional.

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