Being Thankful to God
By David J. Stewart
1st Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
The Word of God has much to say about being thankful to God. Gratitude is a subject that we don't hear much about these days. In fact, we hear a lot of people speaking evil of God instead, expressing their contempt for Him. We have so much to be thankful to God for, no matter how much suffering we may endure, or how much earthly possessions and health we may lose along the way.
Being thankful is so important. In fact, a lack of gratitude toward God is the first step downhill in a life of rebellion, sin and ruin. Romans 1:21, “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.” Behind every wicked heart is a spirit of ingratitude.
I recently read one of the saddest and most sinful songs ever written and sang by SHAKIRA, called HOW DO YOU DO? In the song, SHAKIRA openly accuses God of being a malign thug, of not caring, and of being a pompous hypocrite that enjoys watching humanity suffer. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977) is an ingrate toward God. Instead of thanking God, she horribly ridicules His holy name.
Yet, God is kind to unthankful and evil people according to Luke 6:35, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL.” Wow, God is truly good. While SHAKIRA spews blasphemies and hatred out against her Creator, God is still kind unto her. That is how great God's heart of compassion is, tolerating the wicked and feeding those who blaspheme His holy name. Even the most wicked people are fed, clothed, and taken care of by God's bountiful eye. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof (1st Corinthians 10:26). SHAKIRA eats the best of God's crops and livestock, wears the best of God's cotton and silk, enjoys the wondrous beauty of God's creation, and lives in the best of homes made with God's trees and materials from the ground; yet such ingrates as SHAKIRA curse God.
But don't be fooled friend, God's kindness will end the moment you pass into eternity in your sins without Jesus Christ. You will go straight to Hell to be tormented in flames. Don't mistake God's kindness for compromise or approval of one's wickedness, because God's goodness is heaping coals of fire upon one's head for Judgment Day. The kinder God is, the hotter and more severe will be one's punishment in the Lake of Fire. God will be vindicated on Judgment Day, when the wicked are reminded of all the goodness bestowed upon them on earth by God; while they ran from God, blasphemed His holy name, rejected His precious Son, and spit upon the Word of God.
God is giving mankind enough rope to hang themselves. People live in gross immorality and rebellion against God, and suppose that God approves of such wickedness because judgment does not come immediately. But read the warning in Eccelsiastes 8:12, “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him.” Playboy's founder Hugh Hefner's day of judgment is soon approaching. He's already in his 80's and eternity is very near. Mr. Hefner has destroyed millions of marriages and families with his vile smut, filth, and lewd publications in the United States since 1954. Woe unto Hefner when he passes into eternity, for the Lake of Fire will be his eternal doom (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). There won't be any HEE HAW honeys in Hell...just molten sulfur and the screams of the damned.
Ingrates like Jim Cameron and Steven Spielberg have actors boldly and repeatedly curse God's name in every movie they produce, especially in so-called “family movies.” The Devil's family they mean. Grateful people don't make movies that take God's name in vain. Taking God's name in vain has become the hallmark of American society; but the Ten Commandments still says in Exodus 20:7, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Mentioning “God” or “Jesus” or “Christ” in a meaningless, disrespectful, or empty manner is as much a horrible sin as murder and adultery (and God will hold such wicked ingrates accountable). I've noticed that many people curse in God's name deliberately to identify whose side they're on, Satan's.
When Peter cursed the name of Jesus while warming his hands at the fire, those around him were convinced that he was not with Christ. Jim Cameron hit it big financially with the movie AVATAR, and the first bellowing ungrateful words out of Sigourney Weaver's mouth in the movie are, “WHERE ARE MY GOD DAM* CIGARETTES!” Christianity Today gives the movies its highest rating! I've unofficially renamed Billy Graham's Christianity Today filth to Apostasy Today.
The Bible instructs Christian believers in Philippians 4:6 not to be anxious over anything; but rather, to cast our cares and burdens upon the Lord in a spirit of thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God.” Here we learn that thanksgiving is an important part of our prayer life, and of getting our prayers answered. James 4:6 says that God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Thanksgiving, humility, and prayer go hand-in-hand.
Carefully notice the first thing that God tells His people to do to save the nation in 2nd Chronicles 7:14... HUMBLE THEMSELVES. 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall HUMBLE THEMSELVES, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Americans are arrogant, stiffnecked, and sinfully proud. Very few people are humble and thankful to God these days. This is why sin is so prevalent in our nation. This is why fornication is our new way of life in the U.S., abortion is legal, and Planned Parenthood has crept into our public schools. Few people truly appreciate what God has done for them. God is so good to all of us.
If we were thankful to God as a nation, then we would shut down SIN CITY Las Vegas. If we were truly appreciative to God, then we would shut down Hollywood and all the filth that oozes out of that cesspool of iniquity. The first step to God healing our nation is to humble ourselves and pray, seeking God's face, and turning from our wicked ways. Seeking God's face means seeking God's favor. God turns His face from those whom He is displeased with. It is very interesting that the Bible doesn't tell His people to first seek God, nor to turn from our wicked ways, nor to pray; but rather... to HUMBLE OURSELVES.
Jesus healed 10 lepers, but only one returned to thank the Lord. Listen to what the Lord said in Luke 17:17, “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.” This Samaritan found salvation that day, by faith in the Lord, because he had gratitude for what Christ had done for Him. Most people who won't come to Christ to be saved are ingrates, like the 9 lepers. It was the Samaritan's thankful heart that caused him to come to the Lord for salvation.
An unthankful spirit hinders many people from coming to Jesus Christ for salvation. This is exactly what Romans 1:21 tells us, “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.” Everyone at some point in life KNOWS that there is a God. This is what Romans 1:21 teaches... WHEN THEY KNEW GOD. But many people refuse to acknowledge God in their life, and so their foolish heart becomes darkened with empty thoughts and worldly shallow pursuits. Most people have absolutely no idea of how important it is to be thankful toward God for all He is and does for us. God is a good God, and a righteous God, and He is justified in everything He does.
A lack of thankfulness toward God is the first step toward eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire, for ingratitude is the root cause of rebellion against God. Those who appreciate and love God for all His goodness will glorify (i.e., acknowledge) Him as Romans 1:21 teaches. I'm not saying that you have to be thankful to be saved, God forbid. I'm saying that being unthankful prevents many people from coming to Christ to be saved. This is what Romans 1:21 teaches. If you refuse to acknowledge God's presence in your life and are unthankful toward God, then you have chosen a wrong path to go down. Your final destination will be the Lake of Fire if you stay on that false path until you die.
Our text Verse is 1st Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “In every thing give thanks...” The Bible does not say to give thanks FOR everything; but rather, IN everything. No matter what comes our way, we ought to always be thankful toward God IN every circumstance. The Bible tells us to let our requests be made known unto God WITH THANKSGIVING. The Bible says to GIVE THANKS IN EVERY THING. The Bible tells us to glorify God in our life, being THANKFUL. This Biblical doctrine is critically important. The 9 lepers weren't made spiritually whole, although they were physically healed of leprosy. Sadly, the leprosy of their soul remained, because they were not thankful and didn't glorify God. Romans 1:21 plainly teaches that being ungrateful causes men to become vain in their thoughts and darkened in their hearts.
We are living in a world of ingrates. Most people don't appreciate what God has done for them. So many people today party to the sick and disgusting degenerate music of the world, drink booze by the case, stuff their face like gluttonous pigs, and then go to church on Sunday to pray to statues instead of worshipping Jesus Christ. God is truly kind to the unthankful and the evil; but judgment day is coming the moment people breathe their last breath and enter into eternity (Hebrews 9:27). All of the fools today who live as though this earthly life will last forever are going to be sorry. Just as the flood came upon the wicked without warning, so shall judgment come upon the wicked (Matthew 24:37-38).
Are you thankful to God?
Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS