The concept of thankfulness is pretty straightforward. Most dictionaries define it as ‘gratitude’. We are told to be thankful so often sometimes that we forget the rich meaning behind it. We think we are supposed to be thankful even when we don’t feel like it! We can design wonderful thankfulness lists and they will be just lists if we don’t mean it.
Genuine thankfulness follows something that makes us thankful. People who love God have a never-ending resource for thankfulness. That is what grace is all about! God is abundantly good and it is not hard to find evidence of that in our lives:
Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Thankfulness for things of God stimulates believing and initiates cycles of success. When you recount the things that God has brought into your life, it builds new bridges of believing. Instead of getting stuck in negatives, we are lifted out and above it all.
Psalm 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Glorifying God is the result of this cycle and starts it all over again. It becomes easier and easier to take on all challenges only to generate more thankfulness. In Acts 2:47, the response of the early believers to the message of Pentecost was ‘praising God and having favor’. It was a powerful day that changed history.
The types of thinking that promote thankfulness are listed in Philippians 4:6-8.
6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
In Philippians 4:8 the first thing to think on is truth and that is where believing starts. The last and eighth thing is praise and that’s where all believing ends up!