I want to ask a very simple question: what are you thankful for? As I look at the introductions in the New Testament epistles, particularly the Pauline ones, I find a recurring declaration of thankfulness. In Philippians 1:3, Paul encourages the church in Philippi with this heart-warming declaration: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy…’ When we thank God for each other, we are choosing to focus on the positive rather than the negative. It’s also a powerful reminder that our friends and family are a gift from God and our attitude of thankfulness helps us to combat complacency.
Looking at the opening verses of Philippians, Paul (and Timothy) express: ‘Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ’ and then offer thanks. It’s so much easier to be thankful rather than critical when we choose to live in the grace and peace of God. Paul’s letter also makes the link between thankfulness and prayerfulness. When we are thankful for what we have, a place of priority in our heart follows! Let’s also make sure that we articulate and demonstrate thankfulness: encourage someone by letting them know that you thank God for them.
Lastly, and most importantly, let’s give thanks to God who has surrounded us with so much to be thankful for. As we worship him together today, let’s make sure that thankfulness flows!