Developing Thankfulness – Part 3 – Look At You!

We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it! Ephesians 2:10

Perspectives are everything. Two people can look at the same thing and have two completely different views. Now, this would not be a problem, if it stays like that, but it is the action and reaction that perspectives provoke that makes it important to have the right perspective.

I am sure you know the half full and half empty analogy of pessimists and optimists and how that plays out. I am also sure you heard about the two salesmen sent out to a far country to do market research into shoe sales. The two salesmen arrived, and they noticed no one wore shoes in this land; and the first one exclaimed that ‘no one wore shoes here!’ So there is no market and he went back home. The other man sent a telegram back saying ‘no one wears shoes here, what a great potential market, send as many shoes as you can’. He stayed there and became fabulously rich selling shoes. Again, you have heard of the proverb that says, ‘I complained that I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no legs and feet’.

Today, in developing thankfulness, let us look at ourselves. Like I said LOOK AT YOU! You are alive. You have two feet, two legs, 10 fingers, two eyes, two ears. They are all functioning well. You can taste and eat food. You can breathe, your heart beats, you can think. You can move around. You can go to the toilet to ease yourself. You don’t have leprosy. You are not bed-ridden. You talk, laugh and enjoy music. The bible says, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. If you have no other reason to be thankful, at least start thanking God for what you have been given. Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day! Yes and it does not depend on you. God made it beat like that.

All your systems (circulatory, digestive, excretion, reproductive, central nervous, endocrine, lymphatic, skeletal, muscular, renal, respiratory etc) are all functioning because God created them so and it is not really up to you. If one starts malfunctioning, you and I know how dire it can be. So, why do we grumble and complain, when we have for free, some of the most vital things in life.

Let me give you a simple tip on how to develop thankfulness. Start looking at your physical self and thank God for them one by one. You will soon discover you have been greatly blessed by God. A female psychologists said whenever she finds that she is slipping into depression, she starts to thank God for her fingers one by one and her toes and her teeth and her hair strands, her eyes, then her eyelashes etc. I know this sounds absurd, but she claims it has never failed to set her perspectives right.

God has made you. You are an incredible creation of the Master. Ephesians 2:10 says We are God’s workmanship. This is better said as we are a brilliant poem written by God. We were designed by the Master Designer. Go ahead and thank God for you and thank God again for you!

Let’s Pray: Father God, thank you for creating me. Thank you for all my body parts that work very well. Thank you for making me complete. I am so grateful. Please help me never to forget that I am a masterpiece, because I was created by the Master Himself. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Developing Thankfulness – Part 2 – Look Back

Wisdom the bible says is the principal thing and in all our getting we should get understanding. If you know someone well enough, you will understand them and what makes them tick. It is possible to know God intimately, because He has revealed Himself to us through His Word and His creation.

God highly esteems ‘Thankfulness’. He sees it as an honour thing. Ps 50:23 23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honour me, and to the blameless[a] I will show my salvation.”

He said those who honour Him, He will honour and those who treat Him with levity, He will lightly esteem too. But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Samuel 2:30.

Yesterday, I treated the meaning of thankfulness and briefly looked at what the opposite of thankfulness is. I also began to share my understanding from God’s word on how to develop thankfulness. I mentioned that the first step to developing thankfulness is to LOOK-UP. In this I explained that looking at God and seeing Him for who He is, will get us into the state of thankfulness. Today, I want to show us one more way to develop thankfulness. (I have developed at least five ways, and all involve looking).

Today, we will examine “Look Back”.

It is important to look back over one’s life and track and trace the hand of God over the course of your life. Look at where you started? Look at where you are today. Look at how far God has brought you. Look at your development. Look at your near misses and even more importantly, the times when you were totally down and out, and God came to your rescue. Think back at the way you were before Christ saved you. Think about what your trajectory would have been without this timely and incredible intervention of God. I am so grateful that Jesus saved me. My trajectory was bad. I was heading for ruins and destruction. But Jesus saved me and gave me a totally new trajectory. I am so grateful. What has God done for you? List them.

Write them and recall them. As the Psalmist said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Psalm 103:1-2.

Also consider the admonition of this special hymn

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Go ahead today and count your many blessings, name them one by one, see what God has done and I tell you dear brother, dear sister, your heart will overflow in thankfulness. But it does not stop there!

By being thankful, you are honouring God and He will show you, His salvation. God never stops giving.

Let Us Pray: Father God, thank you so much for all You have done for me. Thank you for where You have brought me from. Thank you for Your care and attention. Your provision and most of all Your salvation in my life. Please grant me the grace to always have a heart of thankfulness as I reflect on Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus name I have prayed. Amen.


Thankfulness – A Vital Tool for Surviving the Last Days

Recently, I heard the voice of God in my heart saying, ‘Be Thankful’. I immediately began to feel He was calling for a thanksgiving service or asking me to do something to thank Him for something He had done for me. But He repeated it again, saying I want a Thankful People. Then it dawned on me that what God was looking for was not a thanksgiving event or service, but a heart that is always thankful and grateful. It is what is popularly referred to as “an attitude of gratitude”.

Today, we are living in an increasingly entitled world. People are always grumbling, complaining and mostly ungrateful for life. This is a dangerous state of being and totally against the will of God for us and inconsistent with how we are designed to function.

Just have a look at what the scriptures say about being unthankful and thankfulness.

2Tim 3:1-3, But know this, that in the last days [a]perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,

Rom 1:21, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

1Thes 5:18, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 Php 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Col 3:17, 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

To Survive and thrive in these days, we must develop THANKFULNESS or an Attitude of Gratitude!

What Is Thankfulness?

It is a state of our heart. A state where you have so trained your inner man to appreciate the goodness of God, always, in every circumstance, in every situation!!!

Let’s break this down further. If you are to be thankful, you must have an understanding that whatever comes your way, God is fully in charge and God will work it out ultimately for your good. This is why the bible commands us in 1Thes 5:18, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

To fully grasp thankfulness, you must understand what the opposite of it is. Ungrateful, Grumbler, Complainer, Quibbler. These are people who find fault in everything and have a negative view of life. They refuse to focus on the good or even acknowledge it. They complain, grumble and quibble. The feel very entitled. God has a word for these kind of people.

Numbers 14:26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.

1Cor10:10               – 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Notice that God took it personally. Notice that it says complainers attract the destroyer. We will deal with this in another post.

So, I am sure your big question is how do we develop thankfulness?

  1. Look Up – Psalm 100:3 – Know that the Lord, He is God;
    It is He who has made us, and [a]not we ourselves;
    We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Recognising that God created you and that you belong to Him, removes the entitlement mindset. Acknowledging God as your creator, the owner of your life and days, the shepherd of your soul. The one who determines how your life will go and the one who is able to help you. Recognising His goodness, His mercy, His faithfulness, His peace, His joy, His provision. His majesty. His glory. His unlimited, eternal power. His omniscience. His omnipresence. His immanence. His love. His care. His generosity. All these and more. When we learn to look-up, yes look up and acknowledge God, it causes our faces to shine and our hearts to warm up.

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
Psalm 34:6

So, look up today and be thankful to the Lord for who He is and for His beautiful creation.

Tomorrow we will look at another place to look to develop thankfulness.

Let us Pray: Father God forgive me for all the times I have been ungrateful, complained and grumbled. Please help me to develop thankfulness. Help me to always look up and acknowledge that you are God, and you have my life in Your loving hands. I thank you today for who You are. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen