Sunday, October 13, 2013

Getting to the heart of Thankfulness

                                                                                                   Thanks to my son, Tim Klassen for the  photos.

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I've been pondering the different levels of thankfulness.
There seem to be layers that we would do well to examine as we get to the heart of thankfulness.
There is spontaneous thankfulness - "Thank you so much! I'm overwhelmed!"
 The kind of thankfulness that spills over without prior thought; 
 like when you are given an unexpected gift, or when you have narrowly escaped injury or
when the beauty of fall leaves takes your breath away.
Then the heart breathes a word of thanks almost involuntarily.
In these instances it behooves us to remember to Whom our thanks should be directed.
There is qualified or begrudging thankfulness -"Yes, I'm  thankful, BUT....
If I had more...., If I didn't have to deal with....., If my circumstances were different..... 
then I could really be thankful."
A heart that is not thankful with little, will find it no easier to be thankful with plenty.
When we exercise a grateful heart, we will find reasons  for which to be thankful ranging from
 the small and mundane to the great and awesome.
There is also guilt-ridden thankfulness -"
I should be thankful because I don't deserve what I have ...
because I escaped something someone else didn't...."
This can be seen as arrogance that God didn't know what He was doing when He gifted you.
Of  taking on guilt instead of choosing genuine gratefulness.
We see an example of  insincere thankfulness  in Luke 18:9-14
In this story, the Pharisee thanked God that he was not like "this tax collector" and then proceeded to list the reasons why he was more worthy of God's attention.
An unselfish Thankfulness is evidenced when we see God at work in the lives of others and thank Him for what He is doing in and for them.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 "We give thanks to God always for you all.. remembering
without ceasing your work of faith....." 
 True heartfelt thankfulness can find a reason to be grateful in all circumstances.
It is an exercise in humility, an acknowledgment that although we do not deserve the blessings bestowed upon us, they are a gift from a loving God.  Not because of anything we did but because of who God is.
it is cultivating a deliberate thankfulness with God's help,
 choosing to find things to be grateful for and giving unqualified praise rather than taking the gift for granted and choosing to ignore the giver.
Finally, the true test of a thankful heart comes when we are thankful during anxious times and despite trials that come our way.
1 Thessalonians 5: 18: " In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.." and\
 Philippians 4: 6: "Be anxious for nothing but in everything  by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God...".
God honours our requests when they are accompanied with thanksgiving and
 He highly values our sincere thanks.
On this Thanksgiving Sunday may you reap the endless rewards of a thankful heart
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6 comments:

  1. Thank you and my you and yours be blessed

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  2. Beautifully written Bev. It made me examine why I am thankful and how I express that gratitude.

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  3. A very beautiful, thoughtful and appropriate devotional for Thanksgiving ... Thank you, Bev!

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  4. I have so very much to be thankful for and have done nothing to deserve all that I have! What a great reminder to have a thankful heart always! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Bev!

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