Show Gratitude to God For Things You Take For Granted
Sat Apr 2017
Consider the following Text:
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
I sent a Thanksgiving Message by email to my email contacts and posted it on my Facebook. In thinking about Thanksgiving, I came to the conclusion that there are many basic things we take for granted in life that apart from them life will be impossible. Consider the following basic things necessary for living: ability to hear, see, smell, talk, feel, stand, sit, lie down, get up, walk, sleep, wake, breathe, and think. How about being able to blink your eyes, which is necessary to lubricate your eyeballs so that they don’t dry out and hence cause great pain. We don’t think about praying to God to grant us these things and so we don’t think about thanking God for them.
Often we thank God for the major things in life that we have received: a car, phone, health, job, or spouse. Someone once said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you had thanked God for today?” (Author Unknown) In other words, if the things you thanked God for today are job and car, then tomorrow you will have a job and car but not be able to see, hear, smell, talk. So, let me ask you, “What were the things that you thanked God for yesterday?” Now pretend you only have those things you thanked God for yesterday. How would life be like for you today?
This means you have to thank God not only for the things you think are major but also for the basic things in life.
1 Gratitude is an attitude of continuous thanksgiving
Our passage says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” In this verse, since God’s goodness and love is enduring the call to give thanks to him for those qualities is not a call for a one-time action but a call for a continuous action of thanksgiving. In other words, you should thank God daily for his unending goodness and enduring love.
Gratitude is an attitude of gratus, the Latin root of gratitude, which means pleasing or thankful. So, gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness. Thankful “refers to the immediate acknowledgment of favor by words.” (Century Dictionary) On the other hand, gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness or continuous expression of thankfulness through actions or words for the particular favor you received now or some time ago!
So, our passage is a call to show gratitude to God for his unending goodness and enduring love not only for the big things in life but also for the basic things of life.
For example, my heart is filled with gratitude for the sacrifice of my late mother in giving me a good education that has brought me to this point.
2 God’s goodness and love demands gratitude from us
The goodness and love of God enables us to take for granted so many things that are necessary for life: ability to hear, see, smell, talk, feel, stand, sit, lie down, get up, walk, sleep, wake, breathe, and think. Our passage is, therefore, a call to you to show gratitude for all things, provided through God’s unending goodness and enduring love, that you take for granted.
The goodness of God is “The disposition of God to deal generously and benevolently with all his creatures.” So, to show gratitude to God for his goodness is to have an attitude of thanksgiving and continuously thank God for his generosity and benevolence. You can only do this when you acknowledge that God has been generous to you for the very basic things of life.
May you always show gratitude to God for his goodness in providing the basic things of your life!
The love of God means “God has strong affection for his children, and is positively committed to meeting their needs.” So, to show gratitude to God for his enduring love is to have an attitude of thanksgiving and continuously thank God for his strong affection and his positive commitment to meeting the basic needs of your life. You can only do this when you acknowledge that God has shown you great affection and in every way has been committed to meeting your basic needs.
May you always show gratitude to God for his enduring love in meeting the basic needs of your life!
3 Elements of Gratitude to God
3.1 Gratitude acknowledges God as your benefactor
Showing gratitude to God acknowledges God as your benefactor. This is because you recognize that God has done you good all the time. God has done something to favor you that he didn’t have to do for you. So, acknowledging and remembering a favor are prerequisites for and lead to gratitude for the favor. When you wake up in the morning and can see and you show gratitude to God for all the days you’ve had eyesight then you are acknowledging that it is God who enabled you to see; God is your benefactor!
May you show gratitude to God to acknowledge him as your benefactor of the basic things of your life!
3.2 Gratitude places a beneficial value on what you received
Showing gratitude to God places a beneficial value on what you received. That is, you recognize that what you have received benefits you. If I put 10 paper plates in a gift bag and give to you, you may thank me out of formality but not really be thankful because it is of no beneficial value. But if I give you an envelope containing $2,000 and you are two months overdue on your $1,000 monthly rent you may be grateful because the gift will benefit you. When God gives us the gift of another day it behooves us to show much gratitude because it is of great benefit to us.
May you show gratitude to God to show that you value his goodness and love in providing the basic things of your life!
3.3 Gratitude is an act of humility that acknowledges favor
Showing gratitude to God is an act of humility that acknowledges that you’ve been favored. To acknowledge a favor requires humility to see that you have received unmerited favor.
Many years ago we prayed intensely for months that a member’s wife would come to the USA. Then she got the visa but didn’t have money to buy the plane ticket and so the church loaned him money for the ticket. When she arrived we told her that we thank God for answering our fervent prayers for her to get the visa and come to the USA. She responded that her own prayers brought her here. I screamed inside me, “O, shutdown!” She did not acknowledge our intercession or loan.
So, the corollary to this element of gratitude is that the arrogant cannot acknowledge a favor because his arrogance prevents him from seeing that a favor has been extended; he thinks he is entitled!
When you acknowledge that it is God who gave you the job rather than your qualifications and interview skills then you have shown humility. Remember that often employers are looking at many people who are equally qualified and sometimes they have to toss the coin just based on their gut feel. God can cause the employer to pick you even when you’re not among the top qualified people.
May your humility enable you to show gratitude to God for the basic things in life!
3.4 Gratitude is an Expression of faith accomplished
Showing gratitude to God is an expression of faith accomplished. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for.” So when we show gratitude to God we are saying we have received what we were hoping for. In other words, our faith has been accomplished. When you’ve been praying for financial breakthrough and then you get a job, showing gratitude to God is evidence that you know your faith has worked.
May you show gratitude to God for faith accomplished in receiving the basic things in life!
3.5 Gratitude pleases God and induces God to do more for you
Showing gratitude to God pleases God and induces him to do more for you. When you have an attitude of thanksgiving and continuously thank someone for a favor then the person is encouraged to extend favors to you in the future. If I give you a gift and you don’t thank me I will not be inclined to give you a gift next time.
We mailed a substantial money gift to someone and never heard from him. So we called to find out if he had received it. Then he casually said he has received the gift and that was the end of it! This was an act of arrogance.
When you show gratitude to God it shows him that you have faith in him as your benefactor as I said in the previous point. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” In other words, God is pleased with you when you show faith in him through your gratitude. And when God is pleased with you then he’ll be more receptive to answering your prayers.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” May you develop and attitude of gratefulness toward God for the basic things in life! May you always show gratitude to God for his unending goodness and enduring love in enabling you to take so many things for granted!