A Thanksgiving Attitude

Give Thanks

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. How do we live this out when life is hard or things aren’t going our way?
Give Thanks

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in this verse is the word eucharisteo in the original language of Scripture. It means to be thankful; to express one’s gratitude; give thanks.

Give thanks in this verse is a word in the present tense, imperative mood and active voice, which means a continuous, repeated action, a command that the subject accomplishes. In other words: Do it !  Over and over and over again.

Some of the other words for giving thanks and thanksgiving in the New Testament are:

thanksgiving eucharistiagratitude; active, grateful language; thanks to God as an act of worship

be thankful eucharistos(used only in Colossians 3:15)thankful, mindful of favors, grateful

 In the midst of each of these words is the Greek word charis which means grace

grace – charis –  the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life; that which affords joy or pleasure; of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues; the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace.

Giving thanks is grateful language—a language of the heart. It is the overflow of our realization, acknowledgement and gratitude of what God has done for us. He has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus. He has restored our peace and joy. He has brought us back into right relationship and fellowship with Him. God’s Word tells us that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our heart is not just our feelings, emotions, desires, affections but also our mind and will. With our will we CHOOSE. Many times we may not FEEL like giving thanks but we can CHOOSE to do so as an act of worship to God. And we are given the Holy Spirit as our helper!

 Feeling gratitude is not a prerequisite to giving thanks.” —T.M. Moore, The Thanksgiving Solution

Read through Psalm 107:1-3. What do you learn about giving thanks?

Let the redeem say so! We are to say so! We are to express our thanks to God privately and publicly because of who He IS. These verses tell us He is GOOD!

Good is the word hesed meaning unfailing love, kindness, goodness, mercy, faithfulness, love. Classic text for understanding this word is in Psalm 136 where it is repeated 26 times. God’s kindness and faithfulness serve as foundation for His actions and character. It is abundant, exceedingly great, without end and good.

Read through each of the following sections of Psalm 107 and note the descriptors of these people. For what do they give thanks? What do they learn about who God IS as a result of their experience and His deliverance in their lives?

Psalm 107:4-9

  • wanderers (vacillate, reel or stray, err/sin)
  • in desolate places – (wilderness, waste, desolation)
  • no path to a city/no home
  • hungry & thirsty
  • souls fainted – (envelop oneself, turn aside, faint – idea of clothed in darkness)
  • cried to Lord in trouble and He delivered from distress (narrow way, tight, straits, stress)
  • led them by straight way and reached city to dwell in

He! satisfies longing and fills hungry —have enough, filled to satisfaction, fulfilled, satisfy abundantly

Psalm 107:10-16

  • sat in darkness
  • prisoners in affliction and irons
  • rebelled against words of God
  • spurned counsel of Most High
  • had their hearts bowed down by God (humbled)
  • fell down with none to help/protect
  • cried to Lord in trouble and He delivered from distress (narrow way, tight, straits, stress)
  • brought them out of darkness and death
  • burst bonds apart

He! shatters the chains of bondage 

Psalm 107:17-22

  • fools, sinful ways and suffered affliction
  • prisoners in affliction and irons
  • cried to Lord in trouble and He delivered from distress (narrow way, tight, straits, stress)

He! sends His Word and heals —”raphah” – to mend, make whole

Psalm 107:23-32

  • doing business in great waters (work/occupation)
  • waves and strong winds
  • reeled, staggered, at wits end
  • courage melted away
  • cried to Lord in trouble and He delivered from distress (narrow way, tight, straits, stress)

He! stills the storms and waves and brings to safe refuge/desired haven (His presence)

What would your Psalm 107 be? Write your story of how God has worked or is working in your life and reasons for giving thanks.

Before we leave this topic of giving thanks and thanksgiving, let’s look at an Old Testament word. A little study will give us a great application and a word picture for giving thanks. In the Old Testament the word for give thanks is yadah:

give thanks yadah ­—to acknowledge, to praise, to confess.  The essential meaning is an act of acknowledging what is right about God in praise and thanksgiving.  It can also mean an acknowledgement of self before God in confessing sin.

It is often linked with the word hallelujah which in Hebrew is: halalto praise, boast, shine, can mean to shout and Jah the contracted form of Jehovah or Yahweh, meaning He is

Hallelujah literally means, Praise He IS!

Spend some time cultivating a thanksgiving attitude by practicing Hallelujah Thanksgiving —praising the Lord for who He IS!

Hallelujah! Praise He IS… __________________________.

Rejoicing in Him!


Copyright 2013, Susan Cady

 

 

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