Pastor Sam Adeyemi
1st Thess. 5:18
If we’re finding it difficult to say “thank you” to people that we can see, just imagine how many “Thank Yous” we owe God. What breeds lack of gratitude? Entitlement! We take so much for granted. Our text encourages us to be grateful.
You can complain that roses, as beautiful as they are, have thorns or you can be grateful that the thorns has some beautiful roses in them. Gratitude is an attitude. It’s a function of what you choose to see. If your focus is on what is not working, you will be angry with God and frustrated all the time.
Looking back through the year, the past months and through your life, what can you see? The roses are there! Some of us are distracted by the thorns. However, be grateful for the roses. Whichever way you’d describe it, God has been good to you! There are roses in our stories as there are thorns in our stories. We can choose to be grateful that as many as the thorns are, right out of those thorns, roses have come out and produced beautiful testimonies. The worse you think your situation is, the more beautiful your testimony and the more you owe God some thanks. Don’t take what you have now for granted because a lot of the things we now have were once prayer points.
In Psalm 103, tells us not to forget His benefits. Don’t neglect what you have to the point of loss before you appreciate their value.
In Romans 8:28, we see that since all things contributed for our good, give thanks for it all whether good or bad. In Ephesians 5:20 says the same thing. Take your eyes off people, keep your attention on God.
The people that have seemingly worked against you have actually been used by God. Think about Joseph. In Gen 45:4, Joseph told his brothers that it was actually God that sent him to preserve life. His brothers would not have been able to sell him if God has not allowed it. Thank God for the merchants because they took him from where he was to Egypt and Egypt was the place of fulfilment of his dreams. So, I’d you were Joseph, you’d thank God for your brothers, the merchants and even for Portiphar.
God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. In the worst of places you can meet the best of people. It was someone that Joseph met in that prison that mentioned his name two years later. You can’t see the whole picture so stop complaining. In everything, give thanks for that is the will of God on Christ Jesus concerning you. Who would have thought that fellow prisoners could be of any use? Don’t underestimate anyone. Just like what you’re going through is temporary, some other people that you’re meeting on the way theirs too is temporary! Give thanks for people you meet because you don’t know where they would be in the future.
Thanksgiving is the acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty. Maintain your sense of wonder and don’t have a sense of entitlement to anything. Thanks are the highest form of thought, gratitude is happiness that is doubled by wonder (Gilbert K Chesterton)