Giving Thanks in Everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
“A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.” –Billy Graham
As Christians we must be thankful at all times. It is easy to be thankful when all is well and God is blessing us abundantly, but we are to be thankful in all circumstances. It is interesting to look at the early Church’s response to being arrested, flogged, and persecuted: they rejoiced because they were found worthy of suffering for Jesus (Acts 5:41). Wow! They were rejoicing because they were suffering.
What has changed since then? The commands of God have not changed, so why have we? Why have we become complaining, grumbling, and selfish followers of Christ? It is hard to find a Christian who is not complaining at small and insignificant things. We all do it, but that does not mean that it is acceptable. We are commanded to give thanks constantly.
When you get a promotion at work, praise God. When someone you know is healed from an illness, praise God. When you come home safely from a trip, praise God. BUT when you get fired, praise God. When a loved one is sick, praise God. In all circumstances, praise God.
How is this possible? When we are filled with the Holy Spirit this is not only supposed to be “possible”, but it should be the norm. Read Colossians 3:1-17 to see how we, as followers of Jesus Christ, ought to be living. Be thankful for all that God has blessed you with, but be thankful for the difficult trials in life too. These trials help get us closer to God (James 1:2-4).
Be so thankful in all situations that other people take notice and desire the same relationship with Jesus that you have.