1) GRATITUDE IS RESPONSE OF FAITH
The Scripture says, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). However, God in His love and mercy sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to the world to save us from all our sins. Whosoever that believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
God is Spirit, therefore invisible to the naked eyes (John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17). When we heard the gospel of His gracious salvation through His only begotten son Jesus Christ, we believed, confessed our sins to Him, cried to Him for deliverance. After praying we thanked Him for answering us and saving us despite the fact that we can’t see him. We thanked the invisible God because we know and are convinced that He has granted us His gracious salvation as we had prayed. This action of thanking Him is a response of faith.
Therefore, as we had started our faith walk by responding with thanksgiving, it is important to continue responding to God in gratitude of heart as we journey on in our walk with God as we are charged by Apostle Paul, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith , as you have being taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7).
For us to know the importance God attaches to our responding with thanksgiving in our faith walk, the Scripture reveals this, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We can say that God’s ‘will’ stands for God’s utmost desires, that is, His ultimate wish. This is known as ‘His perfect will.’ A will is something binding; it is an obligation-something whose compliance is mandatory. This statement could be taken to mean that giving thanks to God in everything is God’s will and something mandatory for those who have received His gracious salvation through His only begotten son Jesus Christ. Since the just is mandated to live by faith, then he is also mandated to live a lifestyle of thanksgiving.
Our being told that giving Him thanks in everything is His will for us is one channeled towards our responding in faith in everything no matter what happens looking beyond the physical unto the finished work of Jesus Christ. In thanksgiving, our faith is keyed to Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation, the Author and finisher of our faith. We approach God on the spiritual ground and fellowship with Him on the spiritual ground too. Our spiritual ground is Jesus Christ; all that He did on the cross for us and all that is ours through Him. Our relationship with God takes place on this spiritual ground and is governed by the principle of the cross.
Responding to God in gratitude and giving thanks to Him in everything has always been God’s prescribed way of life for man whom God created in His own image and likeness and has given dominion over all things created (Psalm 8:5-8). Jesus Christ, our perfect example, lived an exemplary life of giving thanks to the Father in everything. All the godly characters in the Bible such as Abraham, Moses, King David, King Solomon, Daniel, Apostle Paul just to mention a few are all people of great faith in God. Interestingly, they are all thankful people and because of this they were able to live an acceptable life that pleases God and were greatly blessed.
Since responding in gratitude in everything is the will of God, then every believer is called to obey and give thanks unto God not only when they feel like and in favorable situations but when they do not feel like doing so and in unfavorable situations. The most important heartbeat of God for all the redeemed is for each and every one of us to do “His will” to ensure conformity to His wonderful plans and purposes for our lives.
If only the believers would obey God in giving Him thanks in everything and for all things, life would be like heaven on earth, we would enjoy divine blessings, be victorious in all areas of warfare and our joy would be like the river.
“Being grateful opens our heart, raises our vibrations and allows us to learn and grow” (Allison Kirley).
You must be determined to live a life that is pleasing unto God to enjoy Him by doing “His will” in living by faith and responding to everything with gratitude.
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I