Draw Near Disciplines - Thankfulness

Draw Near Disciplines - Thankfulness

July 25, 2018

Thankfulness as Worship

Many people view worship in a very formal sense, as something that takes place at church on Sunday morning while singing. The Bible talks about worship as something that can be done all the time. Everything we do for God is an act of worship; our prayer, our giving, our singing, simple acts of kindness done throughout the day to honor Him, and our thankfulness for the things he has given us.

Thankfulness is a very common theme in the Bible, and can happen in a lot of different ways.

Colossians 4:2 talks about being thankful in prayer. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

Psalm 147:7 talks about being thankful in song. “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving…”

Psalm 35:18 talks about being thankful in crowds. “I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you among a mighty throng.”

Psalm 97:12 talks about being thankful with gladness. “Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to his holy name.”

John 6:11 talks about being thankful before eating. “Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks…”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 talks about being thankful in everything. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks…”

 

Clearly, giving thanks and being thankful are things that are important for us to do. Ann Voskamp, the author of the popular book on thankfulness and gratitude, One Thousand Gifts, says “a life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” When we spend time thanking God for what he has done, we begin to act more on the love of God who gave us those things.

To put it another way, giving thanks is a form of praise.

We praise things that we like, because we like them. If we like a band, we tell people about them. If we find a great book, we recommend it to people. If we happen upon an amazing restaurant, we want to go back and tell others they should try it.

Those are acts of praise based on the enjoyment that we experienced. By being thankful and praising all the little things that happen to us instead of simply overlooking them, we are telling God that we love the work he has done. We love the food he created, the moments he lets us experience, the beautiful things in the world.


Challenges:

  • When something small aggravates you, think about how you can be thankful for it instead. This is hard, but it totally transforms our attitude. For example, instead of being mad that we are stuck in traffic, we become thankful that we have cars with air conditioning and radios that we can travel in with no physical effort.
  • Tell someone in your life that you are thankful for them, and thank them for a specific quality that they possess. Maybe they are really caring, or generous, or patient - just thank them for it in a sincere way.
  • Each day in the Near Journal, pray and thank God for something small that you are thankful for. The smaller the better. It is easy to notice the big things we are thankful for, but the small tiny things really make us focus on being thankful.



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