GratefulnessAuthor: Josué Mora Peña
I believe there are many things for which we need to be grateful: food, shelter, work, health (probably not the best, but it could have been worse), but above all, for the life we have. Somehow we need to show our gratitude not just with words but with deeds.
Many people all over the world have the tendency to always give thanks for a favor received. At the restaurant, we say "thank you", at the hotel, when renting a car, etc. We're so used to thank the people who do something for us that sometimes we just say it without really meaning it.
I wonder if that's the same way with God. Do we thank Him daily for everything He does for us without really meaning it? Thanksgiving means "to give thanks", demonstrating our gratitude not just by saying it. Anybody can say "thank you", but not everybody really means it.
Several years ago I preached in a church on "Thanksgiving Day". The title of the sermon was "ThanksLiving". That sermon had the purpose of letting the people know the difference of thanks giving vs. thanks living. When one is really grateful to God and to others we demonstrate it with works, not just by words. We have to "live" giving thanks for all God's blessings bestowed upon us every day.
If we're grateful to God for giving us life, let's show our gratitude by doing something for Him. Oh yes, He expects something from us. We have to show Him that we care about His kingdom, Christ's church, His people, that we care about our own soul and we do that by living according to His will, not ours. The bible tells us to give thanks in everything (1st Thessalonians 5:18). That means to be thankful to God at every moment of our lives, in good times and bad times.
There is a story about the 19th century Commentator Matthew Henry. He was robbed on one occasion and reflecting on this experience he wrote in his diary: "I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed." That's the spirit of a person who knows how to be thankful in everything.
We should always be thankful with our words and our works. A grateful heart is always happy and has a positive mind. For a grateful heart everything is possible, even the impossible.
- A grateful heart is a humble person; an ungrateful heart reveals a proud heart.
- A grateful heart says: "I have more than I deserve"; an ungrateful heart says: "I deserve more than I have".
- A grateful heart is conscious of God; an ungrateful heart is self-conscious and self-centered.
- A grateful heart seeks to help others; an ungrateful heart seeks to help him or herself.
- A grateful heart has a full heart; an ungrateful heart has an empty heart.
- A grateful heart is easily satisfied; an ungrateful heart is bitter and discontent;
- A grateful heart will be revealed and expressed by thankful words; and ungrateful heart will manifest itself in murmuring and complaining.
- A grateful heart is contagious. Remember Pollyanna, the orphan child and her cantankerous aunt who didn't want her? But Pollyanna changed everybody's hearts with her good spirit. She introduced "The Glad Game".
In this world there are many who are afflicted and are grateful to God...and showing it. Listen to the following story: Her father died when she was very young. Her doctor, due to a careless error, left her blind at only 6-weeks old. The doctor never forgave himself and moved out of town. Yet, Fances Jane Crosby wrote, "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me." Her fist poem, at age 8, reflects her perspective until she died at 95:
Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world contented I will be!
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't!
So weep or sigh because I'm blind, I cannot -- nor I won't!
Her songs "To God Be The Glory", "Blessed Assurance", "Redeemed" and many others, more than 8,000 have been an inspiration to many Christians all over the world.
How do you show your gratitude to God? Are you grateful to Him for what He has done for you? Is it not a blessing that you can see and read this sermon? Have you given your life to Him? How do you show your thankfulness to God? Read the Bible every day; pray constantly to Him; join a Christian church where the Word of God is preached and worship Him with your whole life. Above all, thank Him daily for your salvation. Thank Him for Calvary, without it, the world would be worse than it is now, but not for long, for Jesus is coming soon. But if you have never experienced the forgiveness of your sins and the joy every born-again person has, now is the time to do it. Jus pray this simple but powerful prayer:
"Dear God, I repent of my sins, I confess them all to you, I ask that You forgive me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, Amen."
If you have prayed this prayer, rest assured that God has forgiven you.
Let me finish with this illustration. A couple was married by the Judge. "How much do I owe you?", asked the groom. "Whatever the little Lady is worth to you", said the Judge. So, he had to be very generous with the Judge. Let me ask you, how much is your salvation worth? How much would you be willing to pay if you could earn heaven? But don't worry, Jesus paid it all, in full, and forever. Be thankful to God for that and live out such a great salvation that He has given you.