It would be hard to overstate the importance of Gratitude, wouldn’t it? First, we have the apostolic command: “For everything give thanks”—even for snow (here in New England)! I hereby take myself in hand and declare before you all that “Snow is Beautiful: I thank God for it!” So there. And on this day after Thanksgiving, I’m still rejoicing in an overflowing basket of many more of God’s blessings over the past year.
Further, in the lead-up to the day, we at Fairwood heard a reading of “The Grave Consequences of Being Unthankful” by Joseph Mattera of Mattera Ministries International. He introduced his article with the following words:
“Recently I read about how 25% of all U.S. women suffer from some form of depression, and that more than 12 million women will suffer some form of clinical depression in their lifetime.
“There is an epidemic of pessimism, anxiety and hopelessness that has erupted in the United States and beyond. This is par for the course for any sociological system that is not built upon being thankful to our Creator. Romans 1:21 teaches that being unthankful is the cornerstone sin of all other sins, with a trajectory that leads to covetousness, worshipping creatures more than God, all sexual sins including homosexuality, and pride, gossip, and all kinds of malice that eventually lead to full-scale rebellion against God (Romans 1:21-33)!
“In essence, praising God is good (Psalm 92:1) not just because it makes us feel closer to God, but because it is perhaps the most countercultural thing we can do to show our resistance against Satan’s kingdom, which is steeped in insurrection against the Lordship of Christ and the mandate of the Kingdom of God. By living lives that are worshipful, we show that we do not depend on circumstances, people, materialism, or the pleasures of this world in order to be satisfied. This is the antithesis of the kingdom of darkness that is built upon pride, lust, and greed (1 John 2:15-17).
“In regards to Kingdom culture, my greatest difficulty … involves intentionally engaging my mind, not only my spirit, in ordering my thoughts in a manner that pleases God (Philippians 4:8). Seventy percent of all that we think and do is unconscious. [Failing to practice this verse,] we are all acting out our lives based on mostly negative thoughts that are embedded in our souls. It is important for us to break out of this mental bondage if we are going to enter the promised land of our soul and destiny.”
This is quite an indictment of modern culture. I praise God together with you all that we are not prisoners of this system! Nearly every Sabbath eve my wife and I, together with anyone else who happens to join us, like to act counter-culturally in this regard and recall all the blessings we can of the previous week in a spirit of God-given Gratitude. I suspect many readers have done the same just yesterday, looking back over a whole year of His blessings. Let’s do it again tonight! This way none of us (whether women or men) need to fear slipping off into depression, or worse, into the horrors of Romans 1 listed above.
A fine Scriptural amplification of this is in Colossians 1: “The Preeminence of the Son.” He is at the head of our list of Gratitude: Our Lord is worthy! Praise Him!