Thankfulness is a theme that appears all throughout the Bible. In fact, the word “thanks” appears over 150 times just in the Old Testament. Scripture tells us about a direct link between a spirit of gratitude and victory in the Christian journey.
Consider how thanksgiving is linked with victory in the following two verses.
Gratitude and victory linked together: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)
Gratitude and triumph linked together: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Cor. 2:14)
Gratitude, a product of victory and triumph, comes in several forms. You can thank the Lord with your lips or you can thank the Lord through your prayers. But did you know that you can thank the Lord by how you treat others? Jesus says that when we feed the hungry, take in a stranger, provide somebody with clothing, or visit the sick, we are really doing that to Him. “Assuredly,” Jesus says, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matt. 25:40).
If we want to show our gratitude to God, we should look for opportunities to bless people around us. One way to do this is by saying a quick prayer asking God “Lord, show me somebody who needs a blessing today.” Every day we can find reasons to complain and be ungrateful. But God can give us victory over the negative, self-pitying thoughts that want to take over. A spirit of thanksgiving should be apparent in everybody who knows Jesus Christ.
You don’t have to guess what God’s will is for your life. In Romans 1:21-22, Paul describes a culture that rejects God. Their lack of gratitude is part of their unraveling. Unfortunately, we see the same thing happening around us today. People who expect things feel a sense of entitlement and become ungrateful. In 2 Timothy 3:1-2, Paul said that the world would be full of these people in the last days. Gods will concerning thanksgiving is clear. He wants us to give thanks in everything.
When you are filled with gratefulness you will act, feel, and talk differently. Don’t allow the mind to produce products of ingratitude, always dwelling on the negative rather than the positive. Make a choice today. Begin doing what scripture says by expressing gratitude to God through ministering to others. “Assuredly,” Jesus says, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” And remember, for everything negative in your life there are at least ten positives. You just have to be willing to find them and give thanks to God.
Lord, thank you for all of the blessings you have given me. Even in the midst of my greatest challenges, you are with me. Amen.