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“…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17–18, NASB 95)
Thanksgiving and contentment are rare in our world today, both outside and inside the church!
Contentment and thanksgiving are deep-seeded in the heart, mind, and spirit of the individual. And mostly, these two heart-attitudes come from one that has been changed and transformed by the work and power of God in their life! They know what is needed for life and they are grateful (or thankful) to have what they need for life!
In today’s thanksgiving episode we will be looking at these two key words and attitudes, thanksgiving and contentment.
Recommended book: The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by Jeremiah Borroughs
How can you be content in a year where everything seems to go wrong?
Contentment is a precondition for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a result of a content heart. It is cyclical! Choosing to be content fosters a thankful attitude, and that thankfulness that you exude brings about continued and growing contentment! Rather than focusing on what has gone wrong, take a minute to explore what has gone right over the past year!
Can you be content even though we’ve had $4-5 gas, inflation, energy costs skyrocketing along with some steep drops in the financial markets?
There’s a difference between wishing things were better and being content with the way things are. Is it tough to be content with all these eternal circumstances hitting you hard, ABSOLUTELY YES! But what, through these challenging times, can you be thankful for?
- “…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11, NASB 95)
- Isn’t that what we fight against? We continually want more and are not satisfied with what we have!
- WHATEVER situation = contentment!
- This is LEARNED, not our normal processing!
- This is through what the Lord is doing in the heart of the individual and through their recall and understanding that God is their great provider!
- “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV84)
- Have an eternal perspective…not be myopic!
- Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV84)
- Contentment (learning and doing it) is the antidote to loving money and loving the things of this world!
- “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- “…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Ephesians 5:20, NASB 95)
- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1, NIV84)
- “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
- “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:3–4, NIV84)
What are we thankful for in 2022?
- Roe v. Wade overturned
- Russia/Ukraine conflict has not turned into a World War
- Cost of living adjustment for social security
- Some listeners have already changed their budget in order to lessen the impact of rising prices…it’s going to be tight this Winter, but God will STILL provide!
- Homeowners have seen great increase in their home values
- Costco isn’t raising the prices of their hot dogs!!!
- Wages have increased to reflect the cost of living
- Aldi is still somewhat cheap, LOL
- Rotisserie Chickens at Costco are still $4.99!!!
- We live in America. Sure, we have our problems, but it’s not Russia!
- The Gospel is still the Gospel!
- No matter how bad your year has been, it’s always better than you deserve. That will be hard for many to hear.
- Has God been faithful to meet your needs based on giving “x” last year? Can you trust him to meet your needs in the year to come if we give “y.” (Dale Losch)
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