Gratitude is a gateway in the Christian life and experience. It is a gateway for us to be aware of His presence. It also is a gateway to rest for our soul. Ingratitude will weary us. Gratitude will energize us to bless the Lord and to bless others!
The Apostle exhorts us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus (I Thess. 5:18). By the way, I don't think Paul is teaching that we should give thanks for everything that happens. Rather, he is instructing us that even when negative things happen, we can be thankful that He is with us and will guide us through whatever we are facing.
Let me illustrate: I am grateful to be an American, but I am not thankful for everything that happens in our nation. I am grateful our founding fathers made covenant with the Lord God, but I am not grateful for the unbiblical and unconstitutional direction that many in our nation have taken! When we sit down at the Thanksgiving table this month, let us remember and give thanks that our nation in its infancy was preserved when it looked like it would not survive! His providence protected us and preserved us.
I should remind us that Paul issues a severe warning in Romans 1:18-24. Let me summarize his teaching here. Ingratitude is also a gateway that leads us away from God. The downward spiral of ungodly living and behavior begins with dishonoring God and the failure to give thanks to Him! The gates we walk through will determine the way we walk in life.
A WORD OF THANKS TO OUR EXTENDED APOSTOLIC FAMILY
Jean and I wish you and your family a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving. We are very grateful for your friendship and partnership in the work of the Kingdom!
Dates for 2018 Regional Reformation Institutes will be announced soon!