Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thankfulness is an expression of the heart. Thankfulness follows contentment. A person who is content is grateful and satisfied with whatever they have. They think of God and others and not only of themselves. “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice” (1Chronicles 16:10).
Why should we be thankful?
It's easy to be thankful for the good times. Quality of life comes to those who are thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a setback into a comeback. Realize that your difficulties make you grow and mature. A thankful attitude can turn a negative into a positive. “So then, just as received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthen in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”(Colossians 2:6). Be thankful that you don't have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don't have something; it gives you the opportunity to show appreciation. “Through Jesus therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunity to improve. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons. During those times you grow. Be thankful for when you are tired and weary, because it means you have made a difference. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
How can we to express thankfulness?
True thankfulness toward God motivates a person to express it by act of praise, worship, and service to others. Genuine thankfulness is best recognized in the person who continues to press in to their faith in God even in the most extreme difficulties and hardships. “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalms 5:11).
What happens when we are thankful?
God uses our character, experiences and circumstances to produce something of value in us. Experiences that would ordinarily harm you can turn out to be the very thing that makes you wiser, stronger and better. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).

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