November 23, 2018 Brethren Letter
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday. For all of us, Thanksgiving should be a day for giving THANKS! Hopefully, we took the time in our prayers to deeply thank God for the many blessings He so mercifully and lovingly has poured out upon us.
There was an article I read a couple of years ago entitled, “6 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Gratitude.” I thought it was well written. Here are a couple of sentences from that article:
…while it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving Day, practicing gratitude throughout the year can have tremendous health benefits. In fact, say experts, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools we can implement daily to improve our quality of life, physically, emotionally and mentally.
The article had some very good points for healthful living. One thing it failed to mention was to whom our gratitude should be expressed. Obviously, we can be grateful for things given to us by our neighbors, families or friends. But, DEEP, heartfelt gratitude, expressed for our innumerable spiritual and physical blessings, belong to God. No single day should pass that we’re not giving our THANKS to God, in prayer!
Here are a few Biblical examples of how to express our thanks to God:
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6)
I’ll end tonight’s letter with some of what Mr. Armstrong wrote in the Good News magazine, September, 1961, on this subject.
One of the most common SINS among God’s people has always been griping, complaining — called “murmuring” in the Bible. This attitude of criticizing, finding fault, grumbling, is negative, unspiritual, and is a disease that produces unhappiness and loss of faith in the perpetrator, and great annoyance to others who hear it.
The cure is to set your mind in the opposite mood — that of GRATITUDE. Perhaps the most common sin in professing Christians is ingratitude — failure to be thankful — to count one’s blessings.
When the children of Judah, without any weapons, began to march directly toward the onrushing three allied armies, just singing PRAISES TO GOD, the God they were praising began to win the battle for them. I have known many to be healed when they began to thank and praise God for it in advance. Count your BLESSINGS — get your mind on them — they are more and greater than you probably realize.
There’s SO MUCH to be thankful for! Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone!
Your Brother in Christ,