Giving God Gratitude

Hand showing appreciation for the gift of white flowers           
Have you ever noticed how many Scriptures there are that deal with being thankful to God?  Just for example, notice some verses.  “In every thing give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).  “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20).  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:15-17).  “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:  be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psm. 100:4).  While those are not the only verses in the Bible that deal with being thankful to God, they are certainly sufficient to establish a point.  God commands us to show Him gratitude!

            It is somewhat disconcerting that mankind even needs to be reminded to be thankful to God.  After all, just think about all that God has done, and continues to still do, for us.  Without God, we would have nothing that is good.  James explained, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).  Paul wrote, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:24-28).  However, mankind has a history of forgetting to be thankful to God.  The Gentiles of ancient times serve as reminder of what happens when we forget to show gratitude to God.  Paul indicated, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:20-21).  I am afraid that a lot of mankind has become what Paul wrote next.  “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Rom. 1:22).

            During His earthly life, Jesus took an opportunity to show how so few are willing to show gratitude.  In Luke’s account of the Gospel, we find, “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests.  And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks:  and he was a Samaritan.  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?  but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way:  thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:11-19).  How sad it is to learn that on that occasion, ninety percent of those who were healed did not show God gratitude.  On top of that, the ten percent that did show God gratitude was not a Jew, but a Samaritan.  Those men were cured from a disease that at that time had no known cure.  God blessed them tremendously, but yet, as Jesus said, “but where are the nine?”

            Today, those of us who have been blessed physically and spiritually by God should show him our gratitude.  Christians, above all others, should be the most thankful.  They have been forgiven of their sins, added to the church, and if they remain faithful, will eventually be in Heaven.
~ Corey Barnette