|A Thankful Heart|
The Bible has a great deal to say about the heart. It is not only crucial to our physical
well-being, but it is the seat of our emotions, passions, moral choices, attitudes, and thoughts. In fact, it is central to every aspect of life. So we certainly want it to be healthy—we need to keep our hearts pure, loving, unselfish, and kind. One way the Bible admonishes us to do so is through praise and thankfulness.
Psalm 100:4–5 tells us, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His loving-kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Do you have a thankful heart? Are you a person who appreciates all that the Lord has done for you? Find out how your heart can overflow with gratefulness.
Key Passage: Psalm 100
Supporting Scripture: Psalm 33:1; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57; 2 Corinthians 9:12; Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 1:1–4; 4:6; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
1 The motivation.
The first thing we need to understand about a thankful heart is the motivation we have for being grateful.
Although having a good family, excellent health, and a job may initially come to mind, there is something much more important that we must appreciate—and that is we serve the one true God.
a) We have only one _____ and He is _____________—We can be thankful that our Lord is above all things, knows about all our circumstances and is always able to help us no matter the situation.
b) God loves us ______________________—We can be thankful that His love for us never changes and we cannot do anything to lose it. Rather, God’s merciful love is consistent and everlasting because that is His character.
c) God ________________ our relationship to Him through the ____________ and ________________ of His Son, Jesus Christ—We can be thankful that Jesus paid our sin-debt in full so that we would not have to pay the eternal penalty for our sins and so we could have an intimate relationship with the Father.
d) God ___________________ our sin—We can be thankful that He pardons us of whatever we do wrong when we confess our transgressions and turn back to Him in repentance.
e) God is _______________ with us—We can be thankful that His wonderful presence, strength, wisdom, goodness, mercy, and love are with us no matter where we go or what we face.
f) God has _______________ us with the Holy Spirit of promise—We can be thankful that we have a guarantee of the redemption He has promised us. God has adopted us into His family and is preparing an eternal home in heaven for us—and there’s absolutely nothing that can take that away.
g) God always hears our _____________—We can be thankful that we have the privilege of talking to Him about all the things that burden us, and Jesus is our advocate in all of our concerns.
h) God has given us His _________________________—We can be thankful that God has empowered, enabled, and gifted us to serve Him through His Holy Spirit.
i) God has a plan for our _______—We can be thankful that God’s will for us is the absolute best, most meaningful and significant plan possible—and He will accomplish it if we’ll obey Him.
What does it take to create a heart of thanksgiving?
With such a wonderful God to be grateful for, how do we train our hearts to praise Him?
a) Our __________. Praise and worship should permeate every area of our life, and our songs are a good place to start. Psalm 100:2 admonishes us, “Come before Him with joyful singing.”
b) Our ______________. Philippians 4:6 instructs, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. “When our intercession is filled with gratefulness, we will be less focused on our own problems and more on the wonderful sufficiency of God.
c) Our _____________. We must find ways to express our gratitude to God, and an excellent way is to show His love to others. Second Corinthians 9:12 explains, “The ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.”
d) Our _________________. Are you always finding fault in your relationships, or are you grateful for the amazing people God’s put in your life? In Philippines 1:3–4, Paul wrote, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy . . . for you all.” We should be thankful for our friends—for what they teach us about Christ and how God uses us in their lives for His glory.
e) Our spiritual _________________. How can we give thanks in our most trying circumstances? By remembering that God has a purpose for everything we experience and that ultimately He will lead us to triumph if we obey Him. As 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He uses our most trying experiences to show us His power, increase our faith, and transform us into the image of His Son.
f) Our daily ____________. Colossians 2:6–7 teaches, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. “We should always remember that Christ is leading us and working in our life because that will prevent us from complaining. When we finally understand our remarkable privilege of having an intimate relationship with Him, our hearts will be an overflowing spring of thanksgiving.
How does thankfulness impact your life?
God asks you to be grateful for your good—because when thankfulness flows from you it will impact your life in a positive way. People who have a thankful heart:
a) tend to be ________________.
b) tend to be ____________________.
c) are aware of God’s __________________ in their life.
d) are inspired to live a ____________ life.
e) are motivated to look for His _______________ in their difficulties.
f) find it easier to bring their will into ____________________ to His when there are circumstances they don’t understand.
g) are always reminded of their _________________ upon Him.
h) are an amazing ______________of His grace.
i) are attractive to others because they exude ___________, ________, and contentment.