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Giving Thanks Through the Tears

So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder that which I don’t have.”—Helen Keller

“Giving thanks is not a matter of feeling thankful, it is a matter of obedience.”—Joni Erickson Tada

“The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts—nevertheless, [they] set aside a day of thanksgiving.”H. W. Westermeyer

Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”Unknown

A great number of verses remind us to give thanks to God for all things……

Ephesians 5:19-20 – Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 9:1I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Someone asked me last week on Facebook to state the difference between being grateful and being thankful.  (Forgive me, but I don’t remember who asked that, so hopefully you will see this blog).  The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “grateful” as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” This is where the difference lies; being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action.  When one is grateful, it means that our “attitude of thanksgiving” is in our hearts and minds.  When we demonstrate “gratitude”, we are expressing outwardly the feeling of confidence in our hearts of God’s provision for us. We may not be thankful for times of great trial, but we can be thankful in those that our God is with us and will comfort and strengthen us daily. We realize that His nearness and mercy has sustained us when we were too weary to face the barrage of trials that may confront us.

In 1636 during the Thirty Years War–one of the worst wars in the history of mankind in terms of the sheer number of deaths, epidemics, the economic results–there was a godly pastor whose name was Martin Rinkert. In a single year, this pastor buried 5,000 people in his parish–about fifteen a day. He lived with the worst that life could do.  But you find that in the middle of that time, he wrote a table grace for his children to teach them to give thanks.  It became one of the greatest thanksgiving hymns ever written.   (Copied).

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;

And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;

And guard us through all ills in this world, till the next!