In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church, he writes this one, seemingly simple command – Colossians 3:15 – “Be thankful.” Now, it’s important to understand that the people Paul writes this to were living in very humble circumstances. Many of them were living in poverty – many were slaves – most were being persecuted for their faith. Their lot in life was not very pleasant by the world’s standards. They had very few privileges and they carried very many burdens. And yet, when you read through this letter, you never hear Paul expressing any pity for them. Instead, Paul just encourages them. Specifically, he encourages them to be thankful people.
And Paul never instructed anyone to do what he himself was not already doing. Paul was always practicing thankfulness in his own life. Paul had a very thankful heart no matter the circumstances he was facing. He sang songs of praise and thankfulness even as he sat in a Philippian jail. Paul was beaten and shipwrecked and imprisoned – he was often cold and hungry and lonely and exhausted – he was mocked – he was rejected – and through it all, he somehow remained thankful. So when Paul encourages the Colossian Christians to be thankful – we can be sure that he had a long history of practicing what he preached.
I would suggest that the degree of your daily thankfulness reveals a great deal about your understanding of God. The greater your vision of God – the greater your thankfulness. If you believe that whatever happens to you happens by chance – then you have little reason to be thankful – because you have no one to be thankful to. But if you believe that whatever happens to you happens by the providence of God – then you have every reason to be thankful – because you do have someone to be thankful to.
The gift of thankfulness is one of the secrets of true happiness in this life. It is not the happy people who are thankful--it is the thankful people who are happy! One of the things I treasure most about South Louisville Christian Church – is that this is a happy place. When you come into our church – you can’t help but feel the joy that is here. And it is a joy and a happiness that is born from thankfulness.
The Dues Family: mother, Betty; wife, Reenita; Pastor Theo & son, Mason!
We are people who face all the same struggles as anyone else. Our people have financial struggles, relationship struggles, physical struggles and emotional struggles – and yet, we come into the sanctuary of God every week – and we celebrate – and we sing songs of joy – and we hug one another – and love one another – and we are happy! We are happy because we are thankful. We come here each week to say “Thank You, God.” “Thank you for the sun that warms our face. Thank you for whatever food we have to eat today. Thank you for our church. Thank you for your Son.”
If you have taken the time to read these words, then take another moment to thank God that you have the ability to do that. And if you could use some happiness and thankfulness in your life – then take the time to join us this Sunday. You will be thankful that you did.