I came across this several weeks ago and just kept it on file. It is definitely appropriate today as we head into the Thanksgiving Weekend. It is an excerpt from“The Practice of Godliness,” by Jerry Bridges.
To fail to be thankful to God is a most grievous sin. When Paul recounts the tragic moral downfall of mankind in Romans 1, he begins with a statement, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” To glorify God is to acknowledge the majesty and dignity of His person. To thank God is to acknowledge the bountifulness of His hand in providing and caring for us. And when mankind in their pride failed to give God the glory and thanks due Him, God gave them up to ever-increasing immorality and wickedness. God’s judgment came because man failed to honor Him and thank Him. If failure to give thanks is such a grievous sin, then, it behooves us to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness that permeates our entire lives.
Wow! Have you ever thought of a lack of thankfulness as a sin? I know it may sound cliche-ish, but take some time to make a list of things you’re thankful for , but instead of just making the list, spend some time praying that list back to God. I think you’ll be amazed at what happens to your perspective on your life.
Bridges also writes,
Finally, thanksgiving promotes contentment. Few things will stir up discontent within us as will our inner spiritual struggle between the sinful nature and the Holy Spirit. Its intensity caused Paul to cry out, “What a wretched man I am!” But then he finds relief and contentment in thanksgiving to God for the deliverance promised to us through Jesus Christ (see Romans 7:24-25). Thanksgiving will also promote contentment about possessions, position, and providence by focusing our thoughts on the blessings God has already given, forcing us to stop spending our time yearning for things we do not have. Contentment and thanksgiving strengthen each other.
Thankfulness and contentment strengthen one’s faith because when we choose those things, we are choosing to rest in God’s sovereignty. It’s a trust issue – a faith thing. That’s the only way we can practically apply 1 Thessalonians 5:18….give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
At the end of the day, it’s a choice. We can choose to be thankful or we can choose to be ungrateful. The choice will impact on how we live our lives in a huge way.
Psalm 100:4-5 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His name. 5For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.