We do not have to teach toddlers to be selfish. Children naturally know how to express the desire that they want what they want and will do what it takes to get it. Instead, we must teach toddlers to be thankful. Saying “thanks” is a habit that must be taught until it is genuinely heartfelt. This is true in our connection to God as well.
We often act as if we are entitled and deserve everything we get and everything we want. But, as we grow in Christ, we learn that there is power in being thankful. Having a grateful heart brings a connection with the Lord that is both helpful and appropriate. In the Bible, we read: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
Here are 5 results from experiencing the power of being thankful:
1. Being Thankful Shows Relationship
When giving thanks, we must give thanks to someone. For the follower of Christ, our thankful hearts show that we have a connection to God as we acknowledge everything we have comes from Him.
This relationship with God is built on the fact that He has done everything that needed to be done for us to be able to know Him, walk with Him, and experience life with Him. As we give thanks, we give thanks to God.
2. Being Thankful Highlights Humility
Thankful hearts are humble hearts. When we refuse to give thanks, we are saying that we accomplished something so that we could have what we have. We deserved it because we earned it.
But, a thankful heart is overwhelmed with the realization that we do not earn or deserve what has been given. Instead, God simply chooses to bless us. So, He deserves the thanks rather than us receiving the credit.
3. Being Thankful Gives Recognition to God
When we humbly refuse to take the credit for our blessings in life, we deflect the recognition from ourselves to God. We are saying that He deserves the credit for all the good things in our life. He gets the glory.
We want everyone to know that it is because of the Lord that anything good happens or comes into our life.
4. Being Thankful Displays Obedience
The passage in 1 Thessalonians that is quoted above reminds us that giving thanks is “God’s will” for us. God wants us to give thanks because He knows how good that is for us. God wants us to grow thankful hearts because it allows us to take the focus off ourselves and to place the focus on Him.
Self-centered people cannot experience the full joy of knowing Christ because when we refuse to be thankful, we will never be satisfied with what we have. We will always want more. To help us learn to be content in life, God calls us to give thanks.
5. Being Thankful Grows Faith
Finally, we are instructed to give thanks in “all circumstances.” This means that when things are going well, we need to give thanks. But, it also means when we are going through a difficult situation or when the storms of life come, we need to give thanks. It takes faith to be able to thank God even when we are in the struggles of life.
And, God wants to grow that kind of faith in us. Thankful hearts are humble hearts. Thankful hearts are faith-filled hearts. Thankful hearts are godly hearts. Learn to live by the life-changing words: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” When we live those words out, we experience the incredible power that a thankful heart brings.
Jesus Bless you all