Thanksgiving is a wonderful time. Fall colors. An overabundance of great food. Family. Friends. And time to reflect on things for which we are thankful.
Just the other day, I came across a wall-hanging that said:
Of course ,the sign was trying to drive home the point that all of us have at least one thing, every day, of which we can give thanks. For most of us that is many things.
So if we always have something for which to be thankful, why is it so hard for most of us to “give thanks at all times, in every circumstance?”
Thanksgiving is a day to remind us of the fact of our many blessings – and this is a good thing… But what is it that prevents us from being thankful (and reflecting on our blessings) all the other days of the year?
In our verse for today, the apostle is issuing a command. Not just a suggestion. Not just a life-principle (that we would do well to keep). He is telling us that it is God’s idea that we should be thankful at all times. Even in times that are not so “good.” Even in times when our circumstances will not make our “best of” list.
We seem to do well enough being thankful for the wonderful things in our lives (those things that we can truly, “always, always, always be thankful for”) – especially on days set aside to think about such things in our lives. But the apostle is admonishing us to something deeper. Something way more difficult… He is telling us that we need to be thankful for everything we face, every moment of everyday. He is talking about living in a constant attitude of thanksgiving.
An attitude not governed by our circumstances, but governed by our relationship with the God Who transcends (and rules over) our circumstances.
The whole point of Christianity is that we are not on our own (ever!) – and that God is never detached from what we are facing on a daily basis.
The Bible declares that, for the believer in Christ, God is right here in the midst of our lives. The “good,” the “bad,” and the ugly. If we really, truly, believe that… we never have cause to be unthankful about anything. When God is with us, there is never a moment when we are truly alone… or outnumbered… or overwhelmed.
It is such a simple formula…
The whole key is in truly embracing heaven’s math…provided through Jesus. And living daily, by faith, in what God has so graciously provided.
I find that the “thankful” wall-hanging isn’t as accurate as it should be. It’s a nice proverb – but neglects the most important thing of all. The real reason we can “give thanks at all times, in every circumstance.”
The God of heaven is right here on earth… with us… always!
So I am proposing a new, more accurate, wall hanging – that involves the truth of living in our permanent relationship with the Almighty…