79 Thankfulness

Secret number 11 to finding humility is thankfulness.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord tells us, “give thanks in all circumstances” and “with thanksgiving, present our requests to God”.  We readily thank God when we receive what we want.  We need to thank Him in all circumstances including times when we don’t receive what we want.  In giving thanks we humble ourselves and acknowledge God as the Giver of all good things (James 1:17).

Giving thanks when we don’t feel thankful may feel difficult or impossible.  Giving thanks when we feel disappointed is a sacrifice of praise.  When the enemy accuses God to us, we feel angry at Him and giving thanks becomes next to impossible.  Instead of giving thanks we want rebel against Him.  Our flesh rears its ugly head and insists on getting its own way.  It demands what it wants when it wants it regardless of what God says, tempting us strongly when we feel dissatisfied.  We may seek to please ourselves and rationalize our behavior.

We need to remember to listen to what is God saying to us in our times of disappointment.  He is not silent.  The Bible has many things to say regarding disappointment with God.  We need to listen for His specific messages to us.  We can begin by telling God we are angry or disappointed with Him.  Initially, this may seem to contradict being thankful.  We aim for thankfulness, starting where we are.  This is a confession.  Besides, God already knows what we are feeling and thinking (Ps. 139:1-4).  We need to read a Psalm to God to tell Him those thoughts and feelings.  Some ideas are:  Ps. 55, if betrayed by a friend, 64 when feeling threatened, 69 if feeling overwhelmed, intense emotion or humiliated, 70 if needing help (quickly), 77 if God seems absent, crying out for long time with no answer or lacking sleep or joy, 88 if life is full of troubles, poor health or abandoned by friends & family, 91 if feel unprotected, 102 if physical distress or illness, 109 if slandered, accused or condemned, 130 if in despair or guilty, 141 if feeling tempted.

It is important that we pour out our complaints to God in order to become thankful.  Even if our circumstances do not change, God is deserving of our thanks and praise.  While trying to ignore or forget our troubles can actually make them worse, giving our negative emotions to Jesus in surrender to God aids in becoming thankful.  As we pour out our complaint, we tend to think of things for which we are thankful.  God will remind us.  Consider, even when we don’t feel loved, God still loves us.  In this we can be thankful.  Thanking Him allows us to feel loved by Him.

Let’s thank God for at least five things every day for 30 days and see how our joy increases.

Thanking God for all of you,

Noah Woodrich

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