Thankfulness Broadens Our View of God’s Greatness!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have shared before that I grew up on a farm. On this farm we raised horses, and throughout the years we tried to train these horses to pull wagons. In fact, for my sister’s wedding, my father had built his own buggy and trained a horse to pull the buggy. We tried our best to train this young horse, but he simply became distracted too easily. These distractions often led to him stopping in the middle of the trail until he could be refocused. Along with the necessary equipment used for horse pulling there is one piece more vital than the others. It is the blinders on the headstall. These are located on each side of the horse’s face. The role of the blinders is to keep the horse focused on the direct path ahead. Have you ever noticed that when things start going wrong in our lives it feels like we have spiritual blinders on? We start seeing the world around us in a closed off way. We begin feeling like we are the only ones going through a difficult situation. The more our blinders close in on our perspective, the further into a spiritual slump we feel. This seems to be the devil’s system to lead us away from God’s greatness. In the verse above, Paul offers a different option. Instead of allowing the devil to close in our perspective he offers a remedy. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks! Immediately when our view changes so does our attitude. We begin to open up our eyes to the power of God, the love of God, and the greatness of God. It is amazing to me how this is the cultural norm of so many other cultures. For example, anytime I interact with my friends in Liberia they often say the phrase, Thank God. When they have done our team a huge favor, cooked a delicious meal, and fixed something we couldn’t figure out, we always tell them thank you. This is when they reply- “Thank God.” It’s as if they constantly speak to bring glory to God through their thankfulness. Such a wonderful example of Christ-followers from one of the poorest places on the earth.
Matt Lee, Children’s Minister