GOOD NEWS Thankfulness
1 Thess. 5:16-18 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:4-5 – 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
James 1 – 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
ALL Circumstances • When things are good – Ja. 1 – 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. • When things are bad – whenever you face trials of many kinds • When times are hard – Heb. 12 – 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. • In weaknesses – 2 Cor. 12 – Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Intensifies Hope Deepens spirituality Improves endurance Deepens penitence Increases energy Enhances enjoyment Gives back Benefits of Thankfulness • Counters complaining • Improves mood • Strengthens faith • Enhances relationships • Encourages unity • Relieves depression • Soothes anxiety
Why aren’t we thankful then? • We’re not taught to be • We’re taught not to be • We allowed not to be • We are not taught how to be • We are fallen and have a “god-complex” • We are foolish and stupid • We are thoughtless and selfish • We are spoiled and greedy
Things That Keep us from Being Thankful • Pride – We expect things we don’t get • Greed – We want things we don’t need • Thoughtlessness – We have things we don’t appreciate • Carelessness – We spend things the wrong way • Worldliness – We see things the wrong way
1. Pride – We expect things we don’t get • James 4 – 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Ja. 1 – 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord
Antidote to Pride: Humility • Ja. 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. • 1 Pet. 5:5-6 – Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
2. Greed – We want things we don’t need • James 4 – 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. • Eph. 5 – 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people…5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Antidote to Greed – Give it up! • Luke 9 – 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it…58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Luke 14 – 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
3. Thoughtlessness/Ingratitude – We have things we don’t appreciate • Rom. 1 – 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Luke 17 – 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Ezek. 16 – 15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his. 16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. Such things should not happen, nor should they ever occur. 17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. 18 And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them. 19 Also the food I provided for you—the fine flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Antidote to Ingratitude • 1 Thess. 5:16-18 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. • Col. 3 – 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. • Ja. 1 – 17Every good and perfect gift is from above
4. Carelessness/Laziness – We are careless and even lazy • Ja. 4 – 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. • Eph. 4 – 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Antidote to Carelessness/Laziness • 2 Thess. 3 – 6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
Eph. 5 – 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
5. Worldliness – We see things the wrong way • Ja. 4 – 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
John 6 – 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. • Rom. 8 – 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Antidote to Worldliness – Grow Up • 1 Cor. 3 – Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
1 Pet. 2 – Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. • 2 Pet. 1 – 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Conclusion • Pride – We expect things we don’t get • Greed – We want things we don’t need • Thoughtlessness – We have things we don’t appreciate • Carelessness – We spend things the wrong way • Worldliness – We see things the wrong way