First Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Thanks for Everything
Paul gave thanks for the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:4), and he had to learn to give thanks for even the sorrows that he endured. He thanked God for the believers’ faith in the first chapters of Romans, Philemon, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Ephesians. He thanked them for their faith, for their God-given gifts, for their partnership with him, for their mutual affection, for all the churches (Rom. 16:4) and was one of the most thankful men in all of the Bible, next to the psalmist. Paul informed the church at Ephesus that he not only gives thanks but continues to always give thanksgiving for everything that comes into his life (Eph. 5:20).
When Was Your Last Thanksgiving?
Every time I eat something, I like to thank God for providing me with physical sustenance, and this includes when I’m by myself, at home, or even in public. I find it rare these days to see people bow their heads before they eat in a restaurant. I have seen it only twice in the last five years! When I do see it, I tend to go over and tell them that I appreciate seeing someone in public pray before they eat. The sin of ingratitude might be one of the most grievous sins of all because it takes God’s blessings for granted. God sends the rain on the just and the unjust, which provides for both the saved and the lost to have provisions for life (Matt. 5:45). When was the last time you thanked God for your sins being forgiven, for your family, for your home, for your job, for your spouse, for your children, and for your freedom to worship? I too am guilty of failing to give Him thanks for the innumerable blessings that He has bestowed upon me, and for that, I ask His forgiveness.
An Offering of Thanksgiving
Did you know that the only freewill offering that ancient Israel had was that of giving thanks (Lev. 7:13)? God considers our thanksgiving as a sweet, aromatic sacrifice that is very pleasing to Him (Lev. 22:29). How about giving an offering of thanksgiving for His name (Psalm 30:4), for His people (Psalm 57:9), for God being a good God (Psalm 79:13), and for His steadfast love that endures for all eternity (Psalm 107:1). Maybe you can use these ideas to pray back to God all the marvelous blessings He has given you, make it a custom of yours each day, and try to praise the Lord and give Him thanks, for He is more than worthy.
A Closing Prayer
Great God, thank You for all that You have done for me–my salvation, my family, my church, my job, my home, my friends, my freedoms–and for Your steadfast love. In Jesus’ most glorious name, I thank You and pray.
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