Show God You’re Thankful :: By Nathele Graham

God gave us everything. Because of Him, we are given a first birth. We come into this life as little lumps of flesh and bone. We only understand our own needs. If we need something, we cry. Someone is there to take care of our hungry tummy or dirty diaper. Babies have no ability to say thank you to the person caring for them. As we grow, we are taught to be thankful. If someone does a nice thing for you, it’s important to say thank you. Sadly, there are some very ungrateful people all around. People who think the world owes them everything, and they give nothing. They don’t even give thanks to God.

We can point fingers all we want, but let me ask this question: Have you shown your thanks to God for all He’s done for you? No matter how humble you are or how much you give to others, if you don’t thank God for what He’s done, then you need to open your heart. Because Jesus willingly entered His creation to shed His blood for our redemption, we have the chance for a second birth. All we have to do is truly accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and we are able to live eternally with Him.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). 

That, my friends, is something to give thanks for.

Christians have so much to be thankful for. We are indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, also called the Comforter. He will guide our thoughts and feelings if we allow Him to. It’s hard to wrap our human mind around the fact that God indwells us at the moment we accept Christ for salvation.

“In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). 

Our understanding of God is tainted by our human understanding. He is so much more than we can imagine. After coming to Christ, we will still face problems in this life. We still live in a fallen world and face all the troubles and temptations that Satan puts in front of us. As Christians, we must seek God in all things. We need to allow Him to change our attitudes and heal our hurts.

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). 

If we look to earthly things to fill our lives, we can never show our thanks to Christ like we should. The Apostle Paul faced shipwrecks, beatings, jail, and more. Still, he could encourage all of us to be thankful no matter what we face in life.

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). 

I’ve found that no matter how heartbreaking a situation I’m in, I can always find something to be thankful for. I may have to look hard to find it, but that’s when seeking the things of God helps.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). 

This life is temporary, but God has given so much for us to be thankful for. Give thanks to Him daily, no matter how bleak your life may seem at the moment.

Do you have children? The bond of love between parent and child is strong, but there are drawbacks. Have you ever given your child a gift that you were excited about because you just knew they would be thrilled with it and thankful? When they don’t like that special gift, it hurts deeply. Maybe they do like the gift but don’t show their gratitude. Lack of gratitude is hurtful, but it happens.

What about our ingratitude towards God? He gave us the free gift of eternal life through Jesus. Remember, the Holy Spirit is inside of us. When we live our life having a pity party because of all the things we don’t have, or because we expect God to do more and give more to us, that shows our ingratitude for all God has done.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). 

When I was a child, my brother was killed in an automobile accident. That was tough for a six-year-old to deal with. Sometimes, it seemed as if nobody cared about my sorrow and hurt. They did care, but I only saw my sorrow, not really understanding that others in my family were hurting too. Over time, I began to remember the fun my brother and I had together. Remembering the good times helped, and eventually, I could be thankful that I had had a brother. This lesson helped me through so many deaths. When my husband died, I was devastated. Whenever my grief begins to overwhelm me, I thank God for every minute He allowed me to spend with Ron. Ron was a Christian, so I also thank God for the assurance that he is with Jesus and I’ll join them one day.

When you look outside of your troubles and focus on your blessings, you show God that you’re thankful and you can serve him better. You will see the needs of others rather than your own needs and disappointments in others for not being more sensitive to your troubles. When you thank God for everything, you will be changed.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing on another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Colossians 3:12-13). 

Jesus gave you eternal life, and that’s a lot to be thankful for. Praise Him for this free gift and share it with others.

“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:14-15). 

The word “charity” isn’t talking about giving handouts to the less fortunate, although that could be what you should do. The word “charity” is from the Greek “agape.” That’s the unselfish love of God. It’s hard to dwell in your own grief and sorrow when you’re showing the love of God to others.

“And, whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). 

The second birth through Jesus Christ should have brought about a change in you. Instead of the focus being on you and your own needs, Christ will help you to see that others have needs too. What hurt are they hiding deep inside? How can you help them? By showing God’s love through your words and actions. When you do this, you show God that you’re thankful for His blessings in your life.

We have come to the time of year that Americans call Thanksgiving. There are parades to watch, football games to cheer for, and lots of food. Remember to show God that you love Him, and give thanks to Him in all things. Show your thanks to Him every day of the year. He has given you so much.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).