In ALL Things: The Discipline of Gratitude

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1 Thessalonians 5:12-18; Psalms 95:1-3

November 21, 2020 Sermon Review

Introduction

It goes without saying that 2020 has been by far the most, or at least one of the most challenging years that we have experienced in this country, and possibly the world, in many years. If I had to choose one word that I believed best articulated what many are feeling today it would have to be the word loss. In many people’s minds, this year has been the year when we have lost the values of truth and honesty in our country. Then there has been a record loss of employment, as well as a sense of loss of the standards for justice and righteousness. And sadly there has been an unprecedented loss of precious human life due to a global pandemic that has caused the deaths of over a million innocent lives worldwide. But among the many things that we have lost this year there is one thing that we stand to lose if we are not careful and that is the loss of a thankful spirit. But how can we truly be thankful when by all accounts there appears to be very little to be thankful for? Today we turn to God’s word for the answer to this all-important question in our message titled, “In All Things: The Discipline of Gratitude.”

  • Despite what we as followers of Jesus are called to endure is this life, the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the spirit of God, admonishes us to possess a spirit of gratitude, not just in some of the things that we encounter, but in each and every thing in our lives.   1 Thessalonians 5:12-18; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 12:28-29; Colossians 3:16
  • If we ever hope to achieve a spirit of gratitude, especially when confronted with the constant challenges this life produces, we must understand that gratitude is more than a mere feeling, but it is a discipline that when practiced faithfully and regularly, will bring us into perpetual communion with God.   Matthew 5:17-20; 1 Timothy 4:6-7; 1 Corinthians 9:24:27

Conclusion

It is clear that, just as in nature, God has provided for us various seasons in our lives to facilitate activities that are a part of the cycle of life. It is only when we take advantage of these seasons and the opportunities they present that we are able to truly experience the fullness, which God has designed for each of our lives.

Question for Reflection

When was the last time you encountered a situation or a set of unwanted and unwelcome circumstances that made it extremely challenging for you to exhibit a discipline of gratitude and what was it that enabled you to move beyond it?

Quotes of the Week

“Because we cannot see just what God is saving us from, we vent our foolish reproaches; if we could see this, we would often kneel down and thank God for certain trials as the richest of His mercies.” Author Unknown

“The work you do today may be difficult and tiring, but we should still thank God for it because it is His gift to us – the ability to provide for our needs.” – Dr. David Jeremiah

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD
Painful moments, TRUST GOD
Every moment, THANK GOD

– Rick Warren