On Thankfulness

A. thankful: Feeling or expressing thanks or gratitude; prompted by feelings of gratitude; grateful. Phr. thankful for small mercies. 1. Here is an area where emotion should be a prompt for our decisions. 2. True love and true joy also have their places but wisdom must discern between proper responsive emotions and faulty emotion-led decisions. PRO 3:5 ct/w PRO 28:26. 3. One may be “prompted by feelings of gratitude” to his own judgment. LUK 18:11. 4. Biblical thinking will produce the right emotions for the right reasons, and those emotions will rightly glorify God and strengthen our inner man. PHIL 4:4 c/w NEH 8:10.

B. We are commanded to give thanks in and for everything. 1TH 5:18; EPH 5:20. 1. The “all things” of EPH 5:20 are qualified as approved spiritual things. 2. We should avoid giving thanks for sinful things, per LUK 18:11. 3. We should be cautious about giving thanks for evil things because we see that they caused a positive turn of heart. That is too close to promoting evil that good may come. ROM 3:8. a. We may be thankful that God does chasten us to correct us, since the alternative is not good. HEB 12:7-8. b. Mind, though, that repentance before chastening is a better option. 2SAM 24:10.

C. Men should in general be thankful for the goodness of God towards all. ACT 14:17; 17:25-28. 1. God distributes blessing to the just, unjust and even to the unthankful. MAT 5:45; LUK 6:35. 2. Yet such favour may not impress the wicked. ISA 26:10. 3. Men prefer to glory in their own wisdom, strength and wealth. JER 9:23; DAN 4:30. 4. Arrogance and pride that considers not the Fount of blessings are basically begging God to arrest them. a. All wealth, promotion, wisdom and power, etc. is owing to His grants. 1CH 29:11-13; PSA 75:6-7 ct/w JOB 39:17. b. The carnally-gifted should consider JAM 2:5; MAT 11:25. c. Spiritual gifts likewise are not of our own device. 1CO 4:7. 5. The wretched decline of the nations was precipitated by a lack of thankfulness. ROM 1:21. 6. The decline of the last days is characterized by “unthankful.” 2TI 3:2. 7. Thankfulness should overrule murmuring and complaining. PHIL 2:14-16; JUDE 1:16. 8. We should also be thankful to and for those who have rendered us good benefit. ROM 16:3-4.

D. Circumstances should not diminish our thankfulness. DAN 6:10; PHIL 4:6-7; JOB 1:21. 1. There is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of great trouble. ACT 27:35. 2. We all need an occasional dose of humility by being forced out of our creature comforts or by witnessing someone of greatly reduced circumstances (and especially if that deprived individual has a better attitude than ourselves). 3. “Outward safety is often a cause of inward security, and that is an inlet to all sin.” (Matthew Henry) 4. Let us not forget to give thanks for even imperfect government since it is generally better than chaos, anarchy and blood in the streets. 1TI 2:1-2.

E. Our Lord Jesus Christ routinely thanked God privately and publicly, even for the everyday stuff of life. JOH 6:11. 1. He thanked God for hearing His prayer. JOH 11:41. 2. He even thanked God for the elements that represented His sacrifice. 1CO 11:23-25.

F. No matter our lot in this life, we can be thankful for Jesus Christ’s work of salvation. 2CO 9:15. 1. Our sins have been cancelled by grace and mercy and heaven awaits. 1PE 1:3-4. 2. The final chapter is securely written. 1CO 15:57. 3. God has certainly not dealt with us according to our iniquities even in this life. PSA 103:10. 4. The redeemed are a blessed people and should be very grateful. EPH 1:3-6. 5. Knowledge of salvation increases thanksgiving in many things that are made lawful by Christ. 1TI 4:3-4.

G. Have you received mercy of God, relief from sin or sickness? Forget Him not. PSA 103:2-3. 1. Be not as Hezekiah. 2CH 32:24-26. 2. Be a ten-percenter. LUK 17:12-19.

H. COL 3:17; HEB 13:15.

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.