The Secret of Continual Thanks

Bill Thrasher
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What have we earned from God? We have earned God’s righteous judgment! Our sin—and all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23)—has earned God’s wrath. When you realize that all you ever have received or will receive other than judgment is due to the grace of God, only then can you begin to truly develop a grateful heart. Martyn Lloyd Jones said that “the ultimate test of our spirituality is our amazement at the grace of God.”

It is the grace of God that motivated Christ to taste death for us (Hebrews 2:9). This is why the good news of His death and resurrection is called the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Grace is merited to us only through Christ (John 1:17; Romans 1:5), and we owe everything to this grace that has called us into relationship with God (Galatians 1:6).

The act of thanksgiving is a response to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life!

Most of us have what I call lines of expectations. We unconsciously or consciously think that we deserve some things: good health, respect from others, a comfortable life, etc. When we get over and above these expectations, we are grateful. The problem is that these expectations set us up to be bitter. In God’s plan some of His servants do not enjoy good health or live a long life—and all will suffer trials. When we realize that all of God’s blessings—even those we do not understand—are extensions of His grace, we begin to learn the secret of continual thanks.

When Bible commentator Matthew Henry was robbed, he wrote in his journal four reasons why he could thank God:

(1) I’ve never been robbed before.

(2) He took my purse and not my life.

(3) He took all that I had, but I did not have very much.

(4) I was robbed, but it was not I who robbed.[1]

The presence of genuine gratitude in a life is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s control (Ephesians 5:18–20). It is the Spirit who teaches us of our true need and indebtedness to God’s grace. He opens our eyes to see God as the author of every good and perfect gift—every kindness extended to us, every mouthful of food, every moment of rest, and every beneficial experience. The act of thanksgiving is a response to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life!

[1] . Reprinted in Coronet, vol. 17 (1944); as cited at wikiquote: http:/en.

For Further Reading:

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