“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. AND BE THANKFUL. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God WITH GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEARTS. And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)
Three times in three verses, Paul reminds us to be thankful. Gratitude is a key component in our spiritual lives. But, why do you think there is such an emphasis on thanks?
When we give thanks, it’s because we remember something. We place value on something. It’s a conscious choice to focus our attitude on the good we have seen and experienced.
When we thank God, it’s because we have purposefully remembered all that he has done for us. We have chosen not to take it for granted. We acknowledge that it’s He that gets the credit.
When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, God had provided manna for them to eat. One day, a group of them started to complain. They were sick of manna.
“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”” Numbers 11:4-6 (NIV)
I heard a teaching this week on this very topic and the teacher said, “The Israelites have chosen to complain, which means they have chosen to forget.”
When we forget, we complain. When we remember, we give thanks!
They forgot that while they ate cucumbers and melons in Egypt, they were enslaved to brutal men. Worked to the bone. Hopeless, when God came to their rescue.
In our humanity, we are prone to forget. Which is why we are called to be thankful. It’s a command that we must write on our hearts. Because complaining blinds us from the truth. From seeing the beauty of what God is doing, in the ideal and not-so-ideal circumstances.
Be grateful, because he’s been faithful more times than we can count.
What are you giving thanks for today?