A Thankful Heart

By Francis Frangipane

A Thankful Man is a Humble ManIf you think you know God but do not live your life in gratitude before Him, it is doubtful that you really knew Him in the first place. A thankful heart honors God. Too often when people say they "know God," what we actually mean is they know facts about God. But we should ask ourselves, "Do I truly know Him?"

Paul warns that just knowing facts about God is not enough to enter eternal life. He wrote,

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:20-21).

Even though we may know God in a theological sense, if we do not "honor Him as God or give thanks" our thought processes have a way darkening around our sins and fears. When we are in that hardened, ungrateful state of mind becomes a pathway into and out of hell (see James 3:6).

When I see a poor man...
H. W. Beecher wrote, "Pride slays thanksgiving . . . a proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." When God gives us less than we desire, it is not because He is teaching us poverty; He may be using our difficult circumstances to teach us thankfulness.

You see, life - real life - is not based upon what we amass but on what we enjoy. Even in difficult circumstances God still gives us much to appreciate many things. Someone once said, "When I see a poor man who is grateful, I know if he were rich, he would be generous." A thankful spirit is akin to a generous spirit, for both appreciate and receive the riches of God. When we are thankful with little, God can entrust us with much.

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All of us that serve you are so very grateful to God for you!  May He bless you and lead you into the fullness of His Presence!

Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "The Shelter of the Most High" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.