Giving Thanks – Being Thankful for What You Have

Giving thanks! Are you thankful no matter what? Jesus teaches us a lesson about giving thanks in Luke 17:11-19 10. He tells of 10 lepers who came to Jesus pleading for Him to heal them. Leprosy was a horrific disease. There was no cure and no hope. The one thing every leper needed and desired – was to be healed.

giving thanks - by Pastor Bruce EdwardsOn that day Jesus instantly healed them and they were restored to perfect health – a miracle.  But, here’s the thing Jesus takes notice of – all 10 were healed—but only one came back and thanked Him. The other 9 left without a word of thanks, their minds preoccupied only with themselves, gripped with a spirit of ingratitude.

Giving Thanks Always

Giving thanks—to God should be a part of every believers daily life. We must guard our hearts from becoming hardened by a spirit of ingratitude. Ingratitude and thanklessness are far too common in our world today. Children forget to thank their parents for all that they do. We take for granted all the ways family, friends, and others help us. Above all, we fail to thank God for ALL His blessings.

Too often we are like the 9 lepers.  Instead of giving thanks we get focused on what we don’t have or the problems in our life and forget to be thankful.  We need to learn to be giving thanks no matter the circumstances.  We should always be thankful for what we do have. There’s a story about rich business man who one morning overheard his cook in the kitchen say, “If I only had a thousand dollars, I would be happy and content.” She was a good worker, and he thought he would grant her wish. He walked into the kitchen and handed her ten one hundred dollar bills. She thanked him, and he left to go on about his day. But he paused outside the door to see if she would say anything else. Instead of expressing contentment she said, “Why didn’t I say ten thousand dollars?”

Secret to True Contentment

How many times have you thought or said to yourself, “If I just had a little more or if I just had this or that then I would be content and happy.” Contentment doesn’t come from having more things. There are people who have millions of dollars, mansions, and expensive cars who are not content. Then there are those who barely have enough to get by yet they are happy and content. True contentment comes from being more thankful each day for what you do have.

Don’t focus on what you don’t have, instead be thankful for what you do have. Learn to count your blessing one by one. Psalms 103:2 reminds us to, “Bless (give thanks to) the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits (blessings)” I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for God’s mercy, love, goodness, grace, His gift of eternal life and forgiveness. I am grateful for my family and all that I do have. I’m not going to forget all His benefits – I’m going to be grateful!

Source of Discontentment

Every time time we complain about what we don’t have, in essence we’re saying we know better than God what we need. It is not wrong to ask Him for things—in fact He commands us to do so. The problem comes when we are not content with His answer and what He has provided for us. The source of discontentment is lust and greed. It is one of the most successful tactics used by Satan to rob God’s people of their peace and joy.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us, Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  The tragedy of discontentment is that it renders us vulnerable to temptation and prevents us from realizing the abundance of blessings we have. If you will honestly evaluate what God has done for you, it won’t take long for you to begin rejoicing that He daily loads you up with benefits, (Psalm 68:19).

Happy Thanksgiving

An active and working faith chooses to trust that God knows and cares about your situation. Jesus said, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Matthew 6:32). He will and does provide for you. So, get ready because in the coming days God will increase you and bless you in all things , but right now it’s about – “being thankful for what you do have.”

Have an awesome Thanksgiving this year and remember to give Him thanks!

Bruce Edwards

Bruce is a pastor, speaker, Bible teacher, and consultant to pastors and churches. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in business and ministry.  As a pastor he has a passion to help people experience the abundant life provided through Jesus and is committed to teach and communicate the principles of God’s Word with clarity, simplicity and boldness. He is uniquely gifted to help churches and ministries experience “breakthrough” for greater success and impact.    Bruce has a Masters Degree in Business management and has written several books including; What’s Next, The God Factor, Just Let It Go, The Little Red Book for Parents, God is For You, The Elementary Principles of Christianity, 5 Principles of Breakthrough, The Power of Half, and others. He served over 28 years at Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Senior Associate Pastor. He is CEO of Bruce Edwards Ministries (BEM) which is focused on helping churches and ministries “breakthrough” to greater impact and growth. He provides staff development training, leadership training, Church growth assessments and planning, financial assessments, and other services for leaders, churches and ministries. He and his wife have been married for over 43 years. They have 2 children and 6 grandchildren. Acts 20:24 (NIV) is one of his a favorite verses - “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

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2 Responses

  1. great word Pastor Bruce! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!?

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