Lets look together at 14 examples of thankfulness in Scriptures.
I. Part 1
1. At the remembrance of God’s holiness. Ps 30:4.
Psalm 30:4 (NASB95)
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
This Psalm of thanksgiving was written by David when he dedicated his home. He used the occasion to thank God for healing him of a sickness. In verse 4 he specifically mentions that we should all be thankful for God's holy character. His holiness is that quality about God that sets Him apart from all his created beings. He is different. He does things differently. Sinful men are petty, unforgiving, selfish, and vindictive but God sometimes strick but no for petty reasons, He is forgiving, selfless, and is grieved when He must discipline His children. Can you think of some ways that God has treated you differently than sinful humanity would? Remember it and be ready to give Him thanks for that kind of holiness.
2. For the goodness and mercy of God. Ps 106:1.
Psalm 106:1 (NASB95)
1 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
This Psalm was written by a godly Jew during the Babylonian captivity. As He thinks back over God's dealings with the nation of Israel he gives thanks for His goodness. Even though Israel had turned away from the Lord, the Lord had not turned away from Israel. Even though they hurt Him by worshipping other gods, He still loved them as His special people and was comitted to keeping His promises to them forever. You are His special people too if you have placed your faith in the Messiah that God has provided. His promise is to always love and to never leave you or forsake you. Can you think of some specific ways that you can thank God for His goodness?
3. For the gift of Christ. 2Co 9:15.
2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB95)
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
In this passage Paul is talking to the Corinthians about giving money for use in the ministry of the Gospel. He explains that those who sow spaingly will also reap sparingly, and those who sow bountifully (in their money gifts) will also reap bountifully (not necessarily in money but in righteousness and in praise given to God). With that principle in mind he ends the chapter by thanking God for His gift of His Son. Think about it. If our monitary gifts can grow into a harvest of praise for God, what will be the outcome of God giving the greatest gift that can possibly be given, the marvelous, sinless, holy Lord Jesus?!
What has God's gift of His Son done for you? Give Him thanks for His indescribable gift.
4. For Christ’s power and reign. Re 11:17.
Revelation 11:17 (NASB95)
17 saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
In this passage the 24 elders which represent us fall on their faces and worship God by giving Him thanks because He has bgun to reign. In the garden Satan usurped Christ's rightful office as King over humanity by tricking Adam and Eve to give their allegiance to him. Ever since then Satan has led humanity into war, corruption, and selfishness. When we placed our trust in Jesus, He once again became our king so that we are no longer citizens of Satan's hellish kingdom. Though we are longer citizens of his kingdom, we sill live in it for now. Think of how thankful we will be when the rightful King Jesus defeats Satan and we will no longer be displaced embassadors but resident citizens.
5. For the reception and effectual working of the word of God in others. 1Th 2:13. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB95)
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
Do you remember the powerful changes that God made in you when you first came to faith in Jesus Christ? Do you remember how you soaked up the Words of God and were awed at the things that He was teaching you through them? Aren't you glad when you see the same thing happening to other believers also? As a pastor, this is one of the things that thrills my soul and causes me to thank God just as Paul did here.
Please pick one of these to give thanks to the Lord.
II. Part 2
6. For deliverance through Christ from in-dwelling sin. Ro 7:23-25.
Romans 7:23-25 (NASB95)
23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Before we believed in the resurrection power of Jesus we lived on our own feeble strength to do the right things. In that condition we alway failed because sin was so much a part of our makeup that we couldn't remove it without dying in the process. At the cross of Christ a fundimental change happened to us. Sin was removed from our makeup and as a necessity we did die on the inside, but we were reborn in the image of Christ. We no longer have sin as an essential part of makeup, but in its place righteousness dwells in us. Someday our bodies will expirience the transformation that our sould have already undertaken and we will be wholly without sin. Until then aren't you thankful for the tangible ways that you see the change in your spiritual makeup at work in you?
7. For victory over death and the grave. 1Co 15:57.
1 Corinthians 15:57 (NASB95)
57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our flesh must die just as our sinful nature had to die. The survival rate humans infected with a sinful nature is 0%. It is a guaranteed death sentence. Even believers cannot escape this reality, but we don't have to fear this reality because although we cannot escape it, we can be victorious over it! Faith in the God Man, Jesus Christ, is the assurance of resurrection and power over death itself. As sin infected children of Adam we must die, but when we become Spirit indwelt children of Jesus, we must all live again! Give thanks for the victory that you have.
8. For the triumph of the gospel. 2Co 2:14.
2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB95)
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
The word triumph means to have joy in a victory or a succes and was used to discribe the ceremony of a Roman general when he entered the city after winning a decisive victory over a foreign enemy. The gospel is successful everytime we share it. Jesus is the general who leads us in the victory ceremony. For those foreigners who still identify with the defeated enemy it is not so triumphant but for us everytime the gospel is shared it is another victory for Jesus even if the one who hears the gospel doesn't surrender to it.
Give thanks for the triumph of the gospel.
9. For the conversion of others. Ro 6:17.
Romans 6:17 (NASB95)
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
God is still in the business of saving souls. It is easy to be discouraged when we don't see Him saving as many as we would like, but we need to truly be thankful , as Paul was, when we see people change from the inside out because of the miraculous work of Christ in their lives.
10. For the grace bestowed on others. 1Co 1:4
1 Corinthians 1:4 (NASB95)
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
Grace is when God favors you over others. This favor that He hasfor us is not something that we deserved or earned from Him. God lavishes His grace upon us in Christ Jesus. This grace doesn't come in the form of wordly pleasures like big expensive homes, nice clothes, or luxory cars but as Paul says in verse 5, "that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge." Have you expirienced God's grace in this way? How?
III. Part 3
11. For the nearness of God’s presence. Ps 75:1.
Psalm 75:1 (NASB95)
1 For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, For Your name is near; Men declare Your wondrous works.
In the days that Asaph wrote this Psalm, the visible presence of God was in the tabernacle in Jerusalem. The people of Israel could see the Shekina glory of God and know that He was with them. Now the glorious Spirit of the living God dwells in each believer and those who can see the fruit of the Holy Spirit displayed in their lives know that God is not only near, but that He shares the same address with you. What is it like having God live with you? Can you give thanks for those things?
12. For appointment to the ministry. 1Ti 1:12.
1 Timothy 1:12 (NASB95)
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
What ministries has God given to you? When we are in service we have the opportunity to please Jesus, to put a smile on His face, to have Him look on us with a satified approval. [No Olives Tonight] Are you thankful that you are in service for Him?
13. For all men. 1Ti 2:1
1 Timothy 2:1 (NASB95)
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
Think of the person that you love the most on this earth. Could you make a list of 100 things that you are thankful about them for? Now think of the person that makes your life miserable. What can you be thankful about them?
14. For all things. Eph 5:20.
Ephesians 5:20 (NASB95)
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Think of those circumstances in your life that fill your heart with joy, gratitude to God. A timely word of encouragement, something that went your way, fiding a $20 bill in your pants pocket after doing the laundry.
Now think of those circumstances in your life that burden your heart with sadness, grief, and even anger. Getting audited by the IRS, a loved one that dissapoints your expectations, getting chewed out by someone for no apparent reason. Can you thank God for both sets of circumstances? Have you seen God use the difficult circumstances in your life to bring glory to Him? Romans 8:28-29 is a good promise to hold on to and use to thank God for all things.
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