Give Thanks At All Times
Thanksgiving—a time for family gatherings, a time to be thankful for what we have, and a time when we reflect over the past year and look for things that we can be grateful for. It can also be a difficult time. Many have experienced the loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, sickness, and emotional stress. And yet we are commanded in God’s Word to give thanks unto God regardless of the circumstances. Can we really give thanks at all times?
It Is The Will Of God
The apostle Paul instructed the saints in Thessalonica to give thanks in all circumstances: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:18). The Thessalonians had experienced persecution at the hand of Jews. They were upset that Gentiles could receive the blessings of God without circumcision and the strict obedience of the law. Although the persecution was intense, they were commanded to give thanks in all circumstances.
Give Thanks In Good Times
The euphoria of success, prosperity, and God’s blessings makes it easier to give thanks unto God. David said, “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).
If there was anyone in the Old Testament who knew how to praise God, it was certainly King David. Here, David rejoiced over the reality that God was on his side. And yet, he also gave thanks when circumstances were not so pleasant.
I Will Sing Unto The Lord
“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:6). Although this is a statement of praise and thanksgiving, the previous verses paint a gloomy picture: “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). Feeling forgotten, David prayed that God would notice him and deliver him from his enemies. In the midst of listing his troubles, he remembered to praise God.
Walking Upon The High Places
The prophet Habakkuk said, “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (Habakkuk 3:19).
Habakkuk expressed praise and thanks giving, yet two verses prior to this we see the difficulties the prophet was experiencing: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Have you experienced financial loss this year? Have things been less than ideal? Have you felt like you have been through the wringer? Are you able to give thanks in the midst of your trials?
Why should we praise Him? Because of who He is, what He has done, and what He has promised to do.
Apart from what He has done or will do for us, He deserves praise and thanksgiving just because of who He is. He is the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Lord of lords and King of kings.
He deserves our praise and thanksgiving for revealing His Son to us, for demonstrating His love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
Even though we have gone through rough times, we are still here. He has not forsaken us. We need to give thanks and focus on God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:18).
Will you give thanks at all times?