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"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Plainly it is God's will for us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful!
Taking God's Blessings for Granted
Dr. Martin Luther observed that we exhibit a degree of thankfulness in life in reverse proportion to the amount of blessing we have received. In Tabletalk, Dr. Martin Luther declared: "The greater God's gifts and works, the less they are regarded." The blessings of life, health, freedom and food are not really appreciated unless they are lost, or threatened. Because sunrises and sunsets occur daily, they are taken for granted.
Consider the Stars
Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that "If the constellations appeared only once in a thousand years, imagine what an exciting event it would be. But because they are there every night, we barely give them a look."
The Blessings of Being Hungry and Lonely
Similarly, the blessings of rain are barely appreciated unless one has been through a drought. We in Cape Town barely noticed what a blessing rain is until we were placed under severe water restrictions. A hungry man is more thankful for his morsel than a rich man for his heavily laden table. A lonely woman in a nursing home will appreciate a visit more than a popular person who has a party thrown in their honour. A Christian who has suffered under persecution for decades and receives his first copy of the Holy Scriptures, will be more thankful for this one Book than we are for all the Christian books, Bible translations and magazines that overflow our shelves. As we have heard in the field. “This is the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for – the Word of God in my own language!”