Three Reasons to Give Thanks No Matter What

1 Thessalonians 5:18

     … in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

     Amid everything we can give thanks. No matter how chaotic our season of life happens to be or how traumatic it is. Why would this be so?

     Let’s ponder the verse and ask for a fresh revelation from the Holy Spirit who came to teach us and remind us of everything Jesus said.

     **God has plans for us that are not just for the here and now but for our eternal future.

     Hebrews chapter 11 gives examples of men and women of faith who lived as foreigners and nomads here on earth looking forward to a heavenly homeland. (Hebrews 11:13-16) We can be stumbled when we forget we are just passing through this world.

     In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul writes extensively about our future hope. We are to fix our gaze on the things we cannot see for the things we can see will soon be gone (4:18). We will be given heavenly bodies and heavenly homes.

     **God is right there with us in all circumstances.

     One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:2-3.

     “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” ESV  

     During trials and tribulations, we can feel forgotten. But God is omnipresent and can be all places at once. Whether or not we “feel” His presence He is near. But action is required on our part as well. We are told to draw near to God, and He will draw near to us. (James 4:8a) Tony Evans writes in his Bible Commentary, “To draw near to God is to come into his presence with prayer, praise, and obedience.” 

     **God’s grace is sufficient.

     Paul writes in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 about a mysterious “thorn in his flesh” that tormented him. When he begged for God to remove it, he was told, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (12:9a)

     In The Message, a version of the Bible author Eugene Peterson wrote in simpler language, this section of Scripture reads:

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. 10 Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size — abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Cor 12:9-10

     Grace, from the Greek charis, is unmerited favor. It brings forth the idea of a favor, kindness, or gift which brings pleasure to another.1

     I find that an attitude of gratefulness takes thought. It is easy to be grateful for all the things in life we like… a warm fire on a cold day, good conversation with a friend as we sip a cappuccino, a bouquet of flowers brought to our door. But in a hard situation it gets tough, until we take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances and place them firmly on Jesus.

Let’s Talk:

1-Do you find it difficult to give thanks in everything? Why/why not?

2-During trials and tribulations what brings praise to your lips?

References:

1-Holman Bible Dictionary. Copyright © 1991 by Holman Bible Publishers.