“Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ… In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
A few days ago we talked about two primary things that God is seeking to see in us, once we have received Jesus and what He has done for us.
We talked about the need to be a vessel of God’s grace – God loving others through us. And how one of the main ways we can be a means of grace is to be diligent to forgive those who may injure or offend us.
The second primary thing that God delights in seeing within us is an attitude of profound gratitude. As Christians, we need to understand the importance of living our lives in a constant disposition of thanksgiving.
This is the focus of the Apostle Paul, in our verses for the day. In two separate portions of Scripture, the Apostle admonishes God’s people to “give thanks in/for everything.” When you consider that God’s people, at this time, were undergoing various persecutions and trials, these words are all the more amazing. To the Thessalonians, these words were given as a command (something to be obeyed)!
Why would gratitude be so important? Why the need to constantly give thanks… for everything?
The answer flows from this understanding: now that we belong to God, everything that happens to us falls under His direct concern and care. What we might consider “good” things… and what we might consider “bad” things. All things have a purpose. All things have meaning (even the things we might not readily understand). We all know that “God works all things together for good” – a grateful heart fully embraces and acknowledges this fact. It is the evidence that we really believe that God is IN everything we face.
Every day we have every reason to give thanks for what God has done, for what He is doing, and for what He will do for us. As His child, we are never abandoned – we are never out of His care. We are never alone. We are never on our own.
This can have a profound effect on our lives. When we really understand that God is IN everything we encounter – we can have indelible peace. No matter what comes our way, God is always with us – and working on our behalf, to bring glory to His Name, through our lives.
For this, we can always offer up our thanks to the One Who faithfully sustains us by His grace. God dearly enjoys a grateful heart. A thankful heart draws attention to the faithfulness of God – both within our selves and with all other people in our lives.
One final admonition… “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts… And always be thankful.” (from Colossians 3:15)
Prayer Focus: God, thank You for loving me… may I be filled with thanksgiving in every day and in every thing that comes my way.