Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him; bless His name.

1. What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? (food, family tradition, football, no school, etc.)
2. If you were at the Fall Retreat, what was one of your highlights?

Discover

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks at all times for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

I. According to these verses above, we should rejoice and give thanks at all times, in all things, always. Our rejoicing, according to the New Testament, should be continual rather than occasional. What is one thing that you are thankful for this quarter?

1 Peter 4:13 But inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you fall into various trials.
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are you when they reproach and persecute you, and while speaking lies, say every evil thing against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and exult, for your reward is great in the heavens; for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

II. Giving thanks at all times and in all things implies even during the bad times. As the verses state above, we are exhorted to live a life of rejoicing even in the midst of suffering. This is an overcoming life—a life that overcomes suffering through rejoicing. Just as a fish cannot survive unless it is in water, an overcoming life can only survive in an environment of thanksgiving and praise. We as Christians can only overcome by rejoicing!

III. Read the example of Paul and Silas while they were in jail:

Acts 16:22-28 And the crowd rose up together against [Paul and Silas], and the magistrates tore off their garments and ordered some to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them securely, 24 who, having received such a charge, threw them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks. 25 And about midnight Paul and Silas, while praying, sang hymns of praise to God; and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken. And instantly all the doors were opened and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 And the jailer, waking up out of his sleep and seeing the doors of the prison opened, drew his sword and was about to do away with himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying, Do no harm to yourself, for we are all here.

Praise the Lord for the pattern of these two brothers! Even in the midst of such suffering and persecution, they could overcome through praising and singing!

Apply

1. What is the difference between enduring a trial through the gritting of your teeth versus the kind of endurance the Bible talks about? Read Colossians 1:11.
Colossians 1:11 Being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy.

2. How can we pick up this habit of thanking and praising?
Philippians 4:6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

3. Take a moment to thank the Lord with one another!