What Can I Do if I Don’t Feel Thankful? – Isaiah 51:1-18

Thanksgiving is only a few days away. There is always reason to be thankful. If you need a little encouragement this year, look at Isaiah 51. There are three things we can do to help us remember all that we have to be thankful for.

Look Back at History
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were dug” (Is. 51:1). God dug us out of the pit of sin and set our feet on the Rock of Ages. Never forget where God brought you from. It will guard against an entitlement mindset. God does not owe me anything. Anything that is a notch above hell is better than I deserve. Remember your spiritual roots. Stay focused on the Word of God and on prayer. Remember the promises of God. Verse 2 says, “Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you. When I called him, he was only one; I blessed him and made him many.” Abraham left it all to follow God. He was blessed to be a blessing to the world, just like we are blessed to be a blessing. Abraham and Sarah’s journey was not easy, but God is a covenant keeping God. He will not break His promises! Take time to look back and remember where God has brought you from and you will be thankful!

Look Up at Eternity
Look at the repeated words in verses 5-6: salvation, righteousness, forever. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Everyone either spends eternity in a place called hell, separated from God, or in a place called heaven, in the presence of God. The One, who is our Creator, wants to be our Father. Verses 7-9 say, “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my instruction: do not fear disgrace by men, and do not be shattered by their taunts. For moths will devour them like a garment, and worms will eat them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, and my salvation for all generations. Wake up, wake up….” We need a spiritual awakening! We need to pass our faith on to the next generation. What you do for self and this world will pass away, but what we do for Jesus lasts forever! Look up and remember there is more to this life than this life. Get your eyes off earth and on eternity. Thank God for His salvation and His righteousness.

Look Ahead at Destiny
“And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee” (v. 11). The context of Isaiah 51 is God preparing Israel to leave Babylon and come home. The God who brought Israel out of Egypt and out of Babylon will one day bring us out of this wilderness world of sin. Heaven is a place of joy, gladness, and no sorrow. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” We can look to the future with gratitude rather than grief. The best is yet to come for the people of God!

How can I say thanks
For the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved
Yet You gave to prove Your love for me
The voices of a million angels
Could not express my gratitude
All that I am and ever hope to be
I owe it all to Thee
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
For the things He has done
With His blood He has saved me
With His power He has raised me
To God be the glory
For the things He has done

Thanksgiving to God is a sign that you have put your trust in God. Worry, doubt, and fear only show a lack of trust in God. Trust in God’s future faithfulness is rooted in gratitude for God’s past faithfulness. What God has already done is a reminder for what He will do. Thanksgiving feeds trust. Think about where you have come from and where you are going, and you can’t help but be thankful.

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What Are Some Marks of Thanksgiving? – Jonah 2:1-3:1
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How Do I Grow in Gratitude? – 2 Corinthians 8-9

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