How important it is to develop a sense of gratitude in one’s life? In his book Folk Psalms of Faith, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat." The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!"
Cicero, a Roman philosopher stated, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” Moreover, the book of Ephesians provided us a significant viewpoint to whom should we ascribe all gratitude and thanksgiving, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1:3). The Apostle Paul described in detail the principal role of God in blessing His people with all kinds of blessing from Heaven. What we enjoy today in our lives was made before man was created. God in His infinite wisdom provided what we need to exist with ease and security. It was only spoiled when sin entered the world of humanity. Thus, the call to every believer to express gratitude to God is a must and the most important focus of our gratitude is God the Father as the major source of every unimaginable heavenly blessing including His only Son Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in us. William Faulkner, a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer stated, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”
To be grateful is an exertion of the will from the perspective of being a recipient of all good gifts and numerous blessings towards the giver. Looking closely, it is an attitude of the heart spoken with a deep sense of acknowledgement to what was received with a sense of deep humility. And this my friends is a true picture of what an honorable person looks like; the one that knows where he/she stands in uttering gratitude even in the most odd situation. Here is a classic illustration this outlook: Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this." (Daily Bread, August 26, 1989)
This month, we enjoin the nation of Canada in celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Having such an occasion provides all Canadian citizens and its immigrants a great opportunity to extol the virtues of God’s blessing of the harvest. Thus, in this event, God is the focus being the source of such abundant blessing. In this occasion, one can clearly observe the main reason that made this country great. When God is honored, as everyone should do, I believe that He will respond with the same honor as He was given. As long as we will not lose sight of this simple fact and the basis of celebrating Thanksgiving Day, it will always become a national event that will raise one voice to honor God in recognition of His mighty blessings towards a grateful people. God never forget to remember those that give thanks to His blessings and He would even pour out more. It is His promise so let us continue to do so.
Let’s talk again!