“The unthankful heart…discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”—Henry Ward Beecher
Imagine you have two children whom you love very much. You provide for them, care for them, and give everything you have for them. Yet though they’re both your children they respond to you in totally different ways.
Your first child is somewhat of a cynic, doesn’t believe in you as much as he claims, and says very hurtful things at times.
For instance you serve him breakfast and he says,
“Eggs again?! Didn’t we have eggs yesterday and the day before that; we never have any real food. If I can’t trust you with a good breakfast how can I trust you with a good lunch? By the way, what shall I do for dinner? I mean you fed me last night but what about tonight? I know you said you’d do it but logically it just doesn’t seem possible. Do you even love me by the way? Do you care?”
Then there’s your other boy—he’s not as “logical” he just believes that you love him, will continue to love him, and will always take care of him—no matter what. When you serve him breakfast his response is vastly different:
“Wow! Thank you so much for this breakfast. In fact, thank you for all the ways you’ve fed and provided for me. I also want to thank you for the lunch and dinner you’ve promised me as well. Even when we I was little you fed me, how can I not believe you’ll continue to feed me? Also, thank you for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the bed I slept in—thank you for your provision. I know I’m not perfect but I thank you for loving me in spite of me. I thank you that you’ll always love me, always care for me, always favor me, and always provide for me. I…thank…you!”
Now tell me: who would you be willing to bless a little bit more?
In this instance you can see a litte gratitude attracted more abundance in the life of the second child
Thanksgiving–the road to abundance
God hates an ungrateful spirit. It’s one of the great evils of mankind:
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21 TNIV)
It was this same ingratitude that caused that brought God’s anger on the children of Israel:
“We should not tempt the Lord [try His patience, become a trial to Him, critically appraise Him, and exploit His goodness] as some of them did—and were killed by poisonous serpents; nor discontentedly complain as some of them did—and were put out of the way entirely by the destroyer (death).” (1 Corinthians 10: 9-10 AMP)
God can’t stand to be around murmuring, complaining, belly-aching people.
But those people who are continually grateful He can’t stand to do without.
Truly great people (leaders, entrepreneurs, change agents, and etc) show gratitude freely and genuinely. And why not? The benefits are immense!
The Bible says,
“Let the peoples praise You [turn away from their idols] and give thanks to You, O God; let all the peoples praise and give thanks to You! The earth has yielded its harvest [in evidence of God’s approval].” (Psalms 67:5-6 AMP)
In other words, as we give thanks to Him He turn increases us.
When Jesus had 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread and was ready to feed 5,000 men, not to mention women and children, He gave thanks and fed the multitude.
It was not enough but when He gave thanks for it became more than enough.
Much like the law of reciprocity gratitude allows blessings to constantly flow and circulate into your life. For God designed life to always be in constant exchange—to give one thing is to gain another.
We All Want Affluence
We all want some level of affluence.
Your level may be different than mine but we all want the options that affluence brings.
But we seldom realize that affluence “flows” into the life of a person. In fact, the word “affluence” comes from the root word “affluere,” which means “to flow to.” Affluence means “to flow in abundance.” Hence, why money is also called “currency.”
Thanksgiving opens the floodgates!
True wealth ALWAYS begins with a wealthy state of mind; and gratitude is one of the elements to cultivating that mind. Increase begins when you are grateful for what you already have.
In one study by the Journal of Marketing it was found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were thanked and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all showed no increase.
In another study, by the Journal of Applied Psychology, waitresses who simply wrote “thank you” on the check before handing it to customers received on average 11% more tips than those who didn’t.
Doesn’t sound like much? Oh…well…I guess you don’t need your customers to make a 70% increase in purchases. What was I thinking?? 😉
This law is pretty simple: be grateful for what you have and receive more; complain about what you have (or don’t have) receive less…or have what you’ve received taken away.
Gratitude is a Sign of Faith
We receive all God has for us through faith. The Bible says,
“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)
If I gave you the keys to my car and told you it was yours it wouldn’t make much difference in a court of law.
Because though you have the keys the title deed is in my name. And so faith is the title deed of things we hope for—faith signifies ownership of it.
It’s one thing to thank me for something after you’ve received it; it’s another thing to thank before. The first is an act of gratitude—the second is an act of faith. Paul says to thank God in faith for the things you want:
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 AMP)
As we said before, we have access to all God has for us through faith…faith in Christ. In Christ we don’t find God saying “ummmm” “well…” “you see…” “let Me think about it…” No, in Christ we hear God’s resounding “yes”:
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who was proclaimed among you by us – by me and Silvanus and Timothy – was not ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’ but it has always been ‘Yes’ in Him. For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in Him; therefore also through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken, to the glory we give to God.” (2 Corinthians 1:19-20 NET)
In Christ we have wholeness, peace, prosperity, freedom from sin, help in temptation and trial, joy, and not to mention eternal life. Every promise of God is fulfilled in Him—a everything we could possibly need and want is found in Him:
“So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you—whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 NLT)
And so since we have access to all of God’s promises through Christ, we thank Him for its realization even before we see it.
- “Lord I thank You for Your prosperity cause Word says…”
- “I thank You for Your healing cause Your Word says…”
- “I thank You for Your peace cause Your Word says…”
That’s walking by faith…and it pleases Him to no end!
Gratitude Should Be a Lifestyle
Thanksgiving was meant to be a lifestyle. It’s the characteristic of a mature person—someone who is truly deeply rooted:
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in Him. You’re well constructed upon Him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7 MSG)
Our living should always “spill over into thanksgiving.” But this is not always the case, is it? I know in my life I have been pretty ungrateful. It’s so much easier to do.
But ingratitude ALWAYS makes things worse. Whether it’s a parents who gripes about a child, a boss who complains about an employee, or a pastor who always beats his sheep. It’s so much easier to nitpick.
Thanksgiving is a lifestyle…or at least it should be. Whether things are good, bad, or indifferent we should make the conscious decision to always be grateful:
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)