Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good. Psalm 118:1
What causes you to give thanks? When is it easy to give thanks and when is it hard?
Multiple times throughout the bible, the faithful are found giving thanks to the Lord, for WHO He is and WHAT He’s done. “Give thanks, for:
- He is good
- His love endures forever
- His wonderful deeds
- His unfailing love
- Granted favor
- Answered prayers
- The reigning power of Jesus”
It’s fun to give thanks when things go well, when prayers are answered and blessings are overflowing. The truth is, those in Christ always have cause to be thankful for His undeserved mercy, His overwhelming compassion and forgiveness, and the hope of His eternal promises.
But we aren’t always thankful, are we? We grumble and mutter. We grimace in disdain disappointment when things don’t go our way. We suffer under great oppression. And our ungrateful attitude only serves to make us feel even worse. It separates us from God’s grace. Sometimes I wonder if God might be more offended by our ingratitude than our disobedience.
Giving thanks doesn’t always make sense. Job’s so-called ‘friends’ who saw him lose wealth and property, family, and then his health, told him to ‘curse God’ and die. Instead, Job blessed God. I remember my friend, who before he died of cancer, told us that he had fallen asleep spiritually. He had become apathetic toward God. He said that the cancer woke him up, and that if getting healed from cancer meant that he would return to his ungrateful ways, he would rather have cancer and stay spiritually awake. I grasped his strong message then, but it became real when I was diagnosed with cancer years later.
“ In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
IN everything, give thanks. We aren’t called to give thanks for evil or a fallen world. But we are called to give thanks in all circumstances, for it is God’s will to draw us closer to Him. Giving thanks changes things. It takes us from despair to hope. It is the sigh that breaks the tension in our bodies. Giving thanks doesn’t always allow us the grace to escape the pain and sorrow but it gives us the grace and strength to endure it while we must. It acknowledges that God is true to His Word – He never abandons us. A thankful heart brings peace to the soul even when the body is tormented. Giving thanks is one of the keys to our healing.
Let your heart become a garden of thanks. Even when you don’t feel thankful, you can choose to plant the seeds of thankfulness and then watch them grow into mature thanksgiving. For those in Christ, sorrows will not last forever. The goodness of the Lord is sure to be revealed.
“Yet, if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” 1 Peter 4:16