Living a life with a thankful heart, a life filled with gratitude is the way of life that Christ commands of his followers. Christ defeated sin and continues to preserve good through us.
Philippians 2:12-15 NIV
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
Psalm 28:7 NIV
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Being Thankful Defeats Sin
Our relationship with God before sin entered the world resembled a position of upright assurance. We stood without shame before God. All our affections were aimed directly at the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and we were perfectly fulfilled. When we chose to sin and gave into the belief that God and his commands “are not enough,” that desires of the flesh such as immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and other such things (Galatians 5:19-21) are more important than God, we no longer aim in attitude toward God, but we bend toward the world to find confirmation and acceptance. Paul speaks of those who are without Christ; “they are crooked and twisted” (Philippians 2:12-15).
What is the remedy to this sinfulness? Philippians 2 tells us how to become blameless, pure and without blemish even amidst our sinful desires and fallen world. Paul tells us to “do everything without grumbling or arguing.” In other words, be thankful. Paul tells us that being thankful will cause us to “shine like stars in the sky.”
Our world is trapped up in entitlement, greed, pride, power struggles, envy and lust and therefore we are always unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives. We are just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We think we deserve more, to be gods ourselves. Therefore, we are on an endless pursuit to control our own lives, and the reason we are never satisfied, and view all those that stand in the way of our satisfaction as enemies, is because we will not allow ourselves to be happy until we have it all. As a result, we are bound in unhappiness. Wallowing in our own pride and self-pity, constantly chasing after shadows.
Being thankful must be your lifestyle. If you’re struggling with sin in any way today, it’s a worship (thankfulness) problem, you’re worshiping yourself, someone, or something over and above God. The only way to defeat sin is to transfer your worship to God. It takes your focus off your deceiving need and places your gaze upon the King.
We need to remember the words of the Psalmist when he says that the Lord is your strength and your shield; put your trust in Him and He will help you. Your heart will leap for joy, and you will worship Him in song.