“More Than Thankful”
By Zach Wood
Philippians 4:11-13 NLT
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
It is that time of year where people will be traveling to gather together with family and friends to share in the festivities of eating lots of food and watching football. Many people will sit around the table and take some time sharing who and what they are thankful for. It is a great opportunity to take some extra time off work and be around people you might not spend too much time around on a regular basis.
This time of year, we see commercials on TV, hear songs on the radio and see ads in various places about being thankful. This is absolutely great to be reminded to be thankful. However, these past couple of weeks, I could not help but think a little deeper and really ponder what it means to be thankful.
As I have thought more about this, I have to wonder if expressing thanks is enough. For many of us, we do share that we are thankful for things and people that we care about and love, but when hard times come, we seem to not express our thanks as much as we endure various trials. It is easier to be thankful when most things are going well for us. It is much harder to express a thankful attitude when life is not going so well. Simply saying we’re thankful is easy.
I really think we need to be more than thankful. It is deeper than just taking time to say that we are thankful for different things and people. It is more about being content, grateful and learning to find joy in what God provides when things are both good and bad. This has been on my heart the past couple of weeks and I just kept thinking of the phrase “more than thankful”. It was like God was laying on my heart the need for more than just saying “thanks”. Again, being thankful is great, but it goes deeper than that. Are we thankful, grateful and content every day?
Let these words from Paul sink down deep inside of you. Through the years of his life, Paul learned how to be content. Through his various experiences, he truly learned what it means to be content. He wasn’t just thankful when he received nice things from others or when people were cordial to him. Paul learned to not let his emotions dictate whether he was thankful at certain times. He learned how to be content and express his thankfulness because God always provided what he needed.
Are we going to be like Paul and be consistent in our thankfulness, gratefulness and contentment no matter what life throws at us?