The Bible says that every time we approach God, we should honor Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:2   Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Psalm 100:4   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless
his name.
1 Thessalonians 5:18   In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

IN everything. In triumph and in trouble. Remember Paul and Silas.
Sometimes we forget God when all is well.

Alex Haley, the author of Roots, had a very unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. Someone asked him about it. He said, "Every time I write something significant or every time I look at my work and begin to feel proud of myself I look at the turtle and remember he didn't get there by himself. He had help."

We need to remember God in the good times but what about the bad times?
It is easy to be thankful in good times but it is sometimes tough to be thankful in hard times.
 
Some of may know who Matthew Henry is. He wrote a commentary on the whole Bible. There was a time when thieves robbed him of everything tht he had of value and left him with an empty home. That night he wrote in his diary these words. "I am thankful that during all these years I have never been robbed before that even though they took my money, they did not take my life. And finally, I am grateful that it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed."

Thanksgiving should be a continuous flow in the life of a believer. One thing that can help us maintain our thankfulness is by giving to those that are less fortunate than ourselves.

There is an account in the Bible in II Kings chapter 4 of a woman who was in trouble about to have her sons sold into slavery because of her debt. She thought she had nothing, but the man of God told her to search her house and she had a pot of oil. He told her to get vessels and begin to pour it into other vessels. The more she poured into other vessels the more she had.

You may not have a dime to spare but you have, if you are a Christian, something to share: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another way to maintain a thankful heart is to count it all up.
In II Samuel chapters 21 & 22, we see where king David waxed faint in battle. But even though he was faint, there were 3 more battles in a row. But David began to speak unto the Lord the words of a song and to count up all that the Lord was to him. He said, the Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer. He is my shield, the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower, my Refuge, my Savior, who is worthy to be praised and so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

It is said that when the pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth Rock over 300 years ago, that during that first winter there were 7 times as many graves as there were homes. The ship that was to bring food and supplies brought only 35 more hungry people and not one ounce of provisions.
It is also told that William Brewster rose from a dinner he had called the people to consisting only of a ration of clams and a glass of water and they gave thanks unto an awesome God for the abundance of the sea, and the treasures he had hidden in the sand. These people strong, devout, and thankful were the timbers a nation was founded on. They began a custom of putting 5 kernels of corn upon each empty plate before the thanksgiving dinner was served.
Each person would pick up a kernel and say what he was thankful for, so they would not forget the time when 5 kernels of corn each was all they had.

Psalm 103 gives up 5 kernels to be thankful for.
1. Forgiveness.   From the depth of my heart a sense of gratitude wells up that I am forgiven.
2. Redemption.   Want to maintain a grateful heart? Cast your eyes on Calvary. Our generation likes to judge the worth
of things by the cost. Consider the cost of your redemption. He has redeemed your life from destruction, from the pit.
3. Healing.   Not only natural but spiritual. The healing of the soul, the broken in spirit.
4. Satisfaction.   He satisfies. My friend you were born with a hole in your heart, an empty spot in your soul. The things
of the world promise to satisfy, but never do. There is a void that only God can fill.
5. Renewal.   2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

As we near Thanksgiving, sit down and take the time to count it all up. See if being thankful doesn't produce strength in you. Pick out 5 kernels and you may begin to see the abundance.


MAINTAINING
A   GRATEFUL
    HEART