Yet, it was thanksgiving and thankfulness that marked the explosive growth of the Early Church. Paul wrote from prison to the church at Philippi, “Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times. I will say it again: Keep on rejoicing!” (Php 4:4 ISV)
It was this attitude that sustained him through the most difficult times.
Pastor Jack Hayford wrote a book years ago that marked my life. In The Key to Everything, he said, “At Thanksgiving, the imagery of harvest frames our own nation’s history, inspiring us with things reflective of early America. Yet Thanksgiving is about more than that. It is a call for us to celebrate not only God’s provision and restoration, but also His promise and presence—even amid delays, restricting circumstances, or tears. Thanksgiving also calls us to constancy, for the journey to harvest will usually be harder than we think, longer than we expect, and more rewarding than we can ever imagine."
The early settlers of the United States were marked by problems and challenges, yet they practiced thankfulness. After landing at Cape Henry on April 27, 1607, the Jamestown colonists' first act was to erect a large wooden cross and hold a prayer meeting. They became the first successful colony.
Thankfulness gave them strength to endure.
- Thankfulness makes the world brighter – even in difficult times.
- Thankfulness is the prescription for a strong heart.
- Thankfulness is the response of a mature heart.
- Thankfulness confirms relationships.
- Thankfulness opens our hearts.
- Thankfulness releases blessing.
Paul wrote, “Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:15,16
Gratitude produces generosity. Thankfulness is the normative mark of a heart connected to Christ.
May this season find us thankful, grateful, and generous.