Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are We Thankful?

I recently received a letter from a young brother in Christ which gives food for thought. He quotes Jonah 2:9, "But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving: I will pay that that I vowed. Salvation is of the Lord."
He then goes on to write: "Jonah is thankful in Jonah 2:9, but not in Jonah 4:1, showing how easily we can change our attitudes. In Jonah 2:9, in spite of many discomforts, Jonah was thankful." He then lists several discomforts Jonah had in the fish's belly, and points out the fact that we take many of our blessings--the light and air and freedom we have which Jonah did not have, and yet fail to be thankful for them or even acknowledge they are God's mercies to us! He then asks, "Have we been spared the judgment our sins deserved? If so, how much we have to be thankful for!"

Truly, the greatest of all blessings is the eternal salvation of our souls through our Lord Jesus Christ. He came to earth to die in our place that we might be forgiven of all our sins and possess eternal life by faith in Him. Only thus can we be saved from the judgment to come which we deserve. Are we genuinely thankful for the love which took Him to Calvary to suffer, bleed and die for us?

The spiritual blessing of salvation which God bestows upon all who receive His Son as their Saviour becomes more precious as time goes by. This is quite the opposite of the many material blessings we have which soon deteriorate, or pass away altogether. As one has written: "We thank the Lord for food, clothing and shelter. However, a suit of clothes is not considered precious after it has been worn for 10 years. The food we eat satisfies only for a few hours. But my salvation means more to me now than it did 25 years ago." How true! Let me ask again, Are we thankful for both material and spiritual blessings we possess?

In Colossians 3:15, God says, "Be ye thankful." Isn't it strange that God would have to command us to give thanks? Alas, the callousness of our hearts seems to take all His blessings for granted and hardly ever responds in expressions of gratitude! The Psalmist writes, "Forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2). How soon we forget the blessings, but remember instead the few trials and bitter experiences which, if we only viewed them by faith as allowed of Him, would draw forth our thanksgiving even for these!

Another has said, "To be thankful means to be thinkful." Is it not true that if we do think more upon the blessings God has given, our hearts would overflow with thanksgiving and love to Him? I believe that would be the case. And as Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." If our minds are set on "things above," (Col. 3:2), and we "behold the beauty of the Lord" (Psa. 27:4), our hearts will be filled to overflowing and our mouths will speak thanksgiving and praise to Him. Thanksgiving will then become a day by day experience and not merely a one day a year observance.

From Moments With The Book

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