I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy Philippians 1:3,4 (NIV)
Thanksgiving is good, right and Biblical provided gratitude is directed to God. Thankfulness spills out of a heart at ease. Everyone is taught to acknowledge a gift, a privilege or a favor with a word of thanks in the school of etiquette. Being thankful is not only polite but also a source for joy in an otherwise distressing life.
Thanksgiving joy can be seen clearly in Paulís prison experience. Confined to a cell for preaching Christ, Paulís hope of release was distant and death loomed near. In spite of this, Paul writes to the Church at Philippi, one that he establishes through many hardships with enormous joy.
What was Paulís reason to rejoice? Nothing, except a heart brimming with thankfulness. While in prison, Paul often recollected his ministry in Church at Philippi. Each of these reminiscences became occasions to thank God. His thankfulness propelled his prayers which were full of joy. As proof of this, Paulís letter to the Philippians is painted with joy.
The small group of converts Paul had preached to and instructed at Philippi had now through faithful service become a huge congregation of believers belonging to different walks of life. In fact the congregation was so large that it became necessary to appoint Deacons and Overseers. (Vs 1) Besides, this Church believed in Paulís ministry even while he was in prison and supported the mission through their prayers and contributions. Paulís ministry at Philippi had borne fruit and he had a reason to feel thankful.
Deep in your heart you may have a special treasure chest of memories stacked up. Your chest was filled by God who intervened in your life to bless and provide. Make it a habit to dig into this treasure chest to know why you must thank God. It was Paulís memory that sparked off his thankfulness. Make it a habit to thank God each time you remember the people He has given, the food, clothes, house, money and other material goods you enjoy. Taking a peek into this treasure chest can set you out on a thanksgiving spree.
Do you say your memory fails you? Is your treasure chest empty? Even if you find yourself thinking so, turn your thoughts to the Cross of Christ. Look at His sacrifice and love. Is that not a reason to thank God? If you still struggle, think further about the empty grave and the beautiful place that awaits you in heaven. These are gifts that God freely gives and remembering them every moment will not just leave you with joy but consume you with abundant joy.
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