Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
So, Thanksgiving came and went quickly as it seems to every year. Hopefully, most of us took some time out of the busyness of the day, to reflect on our blessings, and those things in our lives that we are thankful for. But, here’s the question. Are we, as the above scripture instructs, consistently thankful? Do we give thanks in everything?
That can be a real challenge sometimes. Ask the single mom who’s homeless with her children. Or the soldier fighting in a far away land and unable to be with their family for the holidays. Or someone who just lost a loved one. Or perhaps those struggling with loneliness and wondering what God’s plan is for their life. Or the times we may be struggling with health issues or lack, or family problems. Times like that it can be hard to remember to be thankful.
Thankfulness can be a sacrifice. Sometimes it may take all you have to find something to thank God for. But as it says in Hebrews 13:15 it is something we are to do continually. “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”.
When we thank God despite everything going on around us, it reminds us that every good thing we have is from Him anyway. It was God that gave us breath and life for another day. God who gave us the air to breathe and made the sun to shine. The more we practice finding things to be thankful for; the more we will realize all that we have.
If we were to wait until things are perfect in our life to be thankful, we might never thank God. There will always be challenges in our lives. God asks us to be thankful in all things, at all times. If we cannot do this in obedience even when it is hard; then how can He trust us to be obedient in other things He asks us to do? When we are in a hard time we can be thankful when we remember we are never alone. The Bible reminds us of this in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Many times the cause of us being un-thankful or ungrateful is that we spend too much time focusing on ourselves. We focus on what we want that we don’t have. What we have but do not want. Or the fact that people don’t act the way we think they should. We get wrapped up in self pity. We spend to much time murmuring and complaining like the Israelite’s did in the wilderness. We saw how well that worked for them.
The most important thing to remember to be thankful for is that through Jesus; God made a way for us to be saved. Jesus died for us all so that when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior all our sins are forgiven and we will live in eternity with the Lord. That surely is worth praising Him and thanking Him for the rest of our lives!