Cultivate a Thankful Heart
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Like a king or queen here on earth, there is a protocol for entering the presence of God. Psalm 100:4 says, Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. When we move into an attitude of thanksgiving, pride and greed are left at the door. We live in a very individualistic and proud culture, but when we realize that our gifts and talents all come from God, we can come into His presence with humility and thankfulness.
Thanksgiving does not come from our emotions, but from our hearts. We do not need to feel a certain way in order to give thanks – it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving rather than an emotion. The expression of thankfulness in our hearts is praise. Thankfulness keeps our thoughts and hearts pointed at God. Romans 1:21 says, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Notice that without thankfulness, their hearts turned away from God. When we do not include thankfulness, pride and purposelessness invade our hearts. And without understanding the goodness of God, we cannot understand our purpose.
As we cultivate a thankful heart, know that the Bible instructs in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything – it does not say to give thanks for everything. Our God is a good Father who gives good gifts. He does not give disease, pain, or heartache, but He can turn them for good when you invite Him into those situations. An attitude of thankfulness allows God to work in your life through the good times and bad!