Tendencies of Thankfulness
I Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20
Theme: ‘‘We are to be thankful regardless of the outcome’’
Billy Graham gives us a wonderful introduction on how to be thankful in all situations. The Apostle Paul never waivered in his love for God or in his gratitude towards God. Paul was about to be executed for his Christian testimony but he refused to not be thankful.
‘‘Are you thankful no matter what? Perhaps you have lost your job recently, as the economy has continued to struggle. Or you may have lost your health, or a loved one. Such circumstances can be tremendously difficult. But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at the story of a man who had every right to be bitter - but wasn’t.
The next footsteps in the corridor, he knew, might be those of the guards taking him away to his execution. His only bed was the hard, cold stone floor of the dank, cramped prison cell. Not an hour passed when he was free from the constant irritation of the chains and the pain of the iron manacles cutting into his wrists and legs.
Separated from friends, unjustly accused, brutally treated - if ever a person had a right to complain, it was this man, languishing almost forgotten in a harsh Roman prison. But instead of complaints, his lips rang with words of praise and thanksgiving!
The man was the Apostle Paul - a man who had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. Earlier, when he had been imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote, ‘‘Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’’ (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).
Think of it: Always giving thanks for everything - no matter the circumstances! Thanksgiving for the Apostle Paul was not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that changed his life and made him a joyful person in every situation.
Thanksgiving - the givin ...
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