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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 23, 2018

Thankfulness helps us!

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Why is thankfulness important? Why does the Bible exhort us to be thankful?

When we thank God, we are reminded how much we have. Human beings are susceptible to lustful desire and greed. We often tend to concentrate on what we do not have. By being grateful, we focus on the blessings we have and not on what we don't have. Grateful people are happy people. When we thank God for all the things we normally take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessing of God!

That is why the Bible admonishes us many times to thank God (examples: Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). And reasons are often given why we should thank him, such as “His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:3), "He is good" (Psalm 118:29), and "His mercy is everlasting" (Psalm 100:5). Thanksgiving and praise can be called an inseparable team. We cannot adequately praise and worship God without being thankful.

Expressing appreciation for what we have also serves us! Like every wise Father, God wants us to learn to be grateful for all the gifts He has given us (James 1:17). It is a blessing for us to remember that everything we have is ultimately a gift from him. Without gratitude, we tend to be arrogant and narcissistic. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Gratitude as a basic attitude for life promotes a proper relationship with the giver of all good gifts.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we read: "In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." We should be grateful not only for the things that please us, but also for the circumstances that do not please us so much. When we thank God for everything He allows us to happen in our lives, we keep bitterness at bay. We cannot be grateful and bitter at the same time! We thank Him not for evil, but for helping us to cope with it (James 1:12). We do not thank Him for the suffering we might experience and that He did not cause. Instead, we thank Him when He gives us the strength to bear it (2 Corinthians 12:9). We thank him for his promise that "all things will work together for the good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Have you thanked God today?

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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