11/20/22 Thanksgiving Life (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
What sets us apart as Christians from the rest of the world is what we are thankful for. There are many blessings and answers for us to be thankful for. However, we must restore true thanksgiving not for the things we can see, but for the things we cannot see.
1.The Reason for Thanksgiving
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (18)
Why must we give thanks? Because that’s God’s will for us as his creation. When we live according to God’s will, we are most happy, and safe. Thanks is not just something we give once a year or when things are going well, but even in the worst crises. Giving thanks no matter the circumstances is how we can remember and hold on to God’s promises. However, there is a thief. This thief deceived Adam and Eve from giving true thanks for everything God gave them and pitted them against God for keeping them from the fruit of one tree. Let’s realize how Satan deceives us, fills us with disbelief, and prevents us from true thanksgiving.
If we are filled with complaints and disbelief, we live a life of hell here on earth. However, if we are filled with thanks, we can live a life of heaven here on earth. We reap what we sow. If we sow disbelief, we reap disbelief and if we sow thanks, we reap thanks. Let’s pray so that God can restore true thanks in our lives.
2. The Content of Thanksgiving
What must we be thankful for? First, let’s be thankful for our salvation. We have received the greatest grace of being God’s children. We have received salvation in Jesus Christ. We were cursed and fated to be destroyed. Satan was leading us on a path of failure and we could not escape. However, God loved us so much that he sent his one and only Son and gave us eternal life. To drive out our sin and curse, Jesus came and died on the cross and resurrected. This victor Christ is with us. Therefore, we are more than conquerors. When we call upon this Jesus Christ, all curses and darkness will flee. With that authority, let’s overcome our problems and circumstances. We are so quick to complain and blame when things aren’t going well. The blood of Christ has redeemed us and made us people of God who are victorious and set apart.
Second, let’s be thankful for God’s guidance. The greatest answer we can experience is the faith that believes that God is guiding our lives. While the Israelites traveled in the wilderness, God guided and provided for them every step of the way. God needs true witnesses of his guidance. God has his greater plan of world evangelism and we are in the midst of his work. In our lives, we are not lucky, but blessed in God’s sovereignty.
Third, let’s be thankful for being safe in the arms of Jesus. We may seem weak but we are spiritual giants. We may seem defenseless but we have the background of the throne of heaven. We are in the Ark of Christ, the City of Refuge. No one and nothing can take this away from us. This has been given to us.
3. The Method of Thanksgiving
How can we be thankful? First, we can be thankful through God’s word. Not just the word we listen to or hear, but our lives must be captivated by the power of God’s word. People who truly enjoy his word are held captive by the power of God’s living word. There is true power and healing in God’s word. There is no way for us to be truly thankful without God’s word, so let’s pray so that
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. (16-17)
Second, we can be thankful through prayer. Not the prayer of what I want, but what God wants. A prayer that is centered on only Christ, God’s Kingdom and his Holy Spirit. Have conversations with God.
Third, we can be thankful through praise. Let’s experience the power of praise, because it can give us the power to overcome every circumstance, see God’s plan and experience the forces of darkness being broken. God does not look at our musical skills but our hearts.
Think about your past, present and future. In the past, God has guided and provided everything for us. In the present, we can be thankful for all the blessings we’ve received in Christ. In the future, God will give us greater evidence and grace and perform greater works in our lives.
Let’s pray that 24 hours a day, 365 days we can be truly give thanks.