If you read many Facebook posts or listen to media, it seems as though gratitude is a character trait that appears almost extinct. I can remember a time when that was not the case. Many things have changed in our world and our culture, not all of them positive. It would appear those that murmur and complain seem to have the loudest voices of all.It should not be so with us who believe.
Last week I was meditating on the scripture in I Thessalonians 5:18; “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It’s important to note that the passage does not say that we are to give thanks “for” everything or even something by listing what we are thankful for. Rather, we are to give thanks “in” everything! Think about it; our minds are automatically geared to the negative. When we hear unpleasant news, we immediately go to the worst case scenario or become easily personally offended by what used to be mild offenses. (i.e., someone didn’t say hello).
In today’s world, the standard question I hear is, “What do I have to be thankful for?” While that might be a valid question it’s really unrelated to the topic of Biblical gratitude. Scripture doesn’t tell us to make a list of what we are thankful “for” but instead that we need to be thankful “in” everything give thanks. There’s a big difference between the two.
See, when we determine to be thankful “in” all things then the focus is then not on you or me and we what determined to be thankful for on our list for thanksgiving, but instead it puts our emphasis on where it belongs; thanking our Lord and Savior for His faithfullness in all circumstances!
So that, amid our pain and suffering, disappointments and crushed dreams we can give thanks that:
- We are loved and cared for by God himself.
- We are kept safe and secure by his power and goodness.
- Nothing can separate you or me from his love.
- We will never be left or forsaken by Him.
- We have a home in heaven prepared for us.
- We will be reunited with those we love and have left this world someday.
- Your life and breath belong to Him and Him alone.
- His plans for us are only for good and blessings.
- All things will work together for our good.
- You nor I am not alone; He is with us! He is with YOU!
This Thanksgiving, look upward, for your redemption draws near, and in everything give thanks!
Go ahead and make a list if you wish. But, I’d encourage you to be giving thanks IN all circumstances, everything! Including thanks to Him while in the pain and difficulties.
Have a blessed time of giving thanks “in” all things as you celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness this Thanksgiving!