17th August 2020
'in all circumstances'
'Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.'
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The other day, someone posted on Facebook a thoughtful question
"What if you woke up tomorrow morning
with ONLY the things
you thanked God for today?"
It's such a thought-provoking question to ponder
because many of us fail to see that we are so very blessed!
Sadly, if the question above were to become a reality,
some of us might wake up with nothing.
Do we acknowledge all God has done for us,
is doing for us and will continue to do for us?
It is so easy to take God's gifts for granted
and it's not always easy to give thanks,
but this is the very thing we must do in order to see
God's will accomplished in our lives;
for this is how our faith is strengthened.
The Psalmists were great on recognising God's goodness;
the writer of Psalm 116, King David,
had clearly thought about it;
What shall I give to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?'
he asks,...He answers his own question in verse 17,
"I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord."
We are to give thanks to him.
The Psalms are full of it.
'I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.' Psalm 9:1
'Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good; his love endures forever.' Psalm 106:1
St. Augustine wrote, in his Letter 72;
'What better words to carry in our heart,
pronounce with our mouth,
write with a pen, than the words,
"Thanks be to God"?
There is no phrase that may be said so readily,
that can be heard with greater joy,
felt with more emotion or produced with greater effect.'
And St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote;
'There is no one who, with a little bit of thought,
cannot but discover many reasons for being grateful to God. . . .
Once we have come to an appreciation of all he has given to us,
we will have abundant cause to give thanks continually.'
Are we thankful?
Are we thankful for our present circumstances?
Are we thankful for our salvation,
our family and friendships, our jobs?
Thankfulness is a key to our lives.
It is the key that turns our situation around
because it changes us, our outlook, and our attitude.
There is power in a thankful heart.
Here are 3 ways to practice an attitude
of thankfulness in everyday life:
*Thank and praise God for everything in our lives.
Thank Him for even the difficulties;
He can turn troubles to triumph.
"Through Jesus, therefore,
let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise --
the fruit of lips that confess his name"
- Hebrews 13:15.
*Don't complain about anything.
During the difficult times,
we need to be very careful to watch what we say.
Instead of complaining,
think of ways we can verbally offer God thanks.
*Let's try not to compare ourselves with others,
wishing that our lives were different.
God knows what is best.
The Bible says having a thankful heart is God's will for us in Jesus.
When we begin to thank God for what we have
rather than comparing ourselves with others,
it opens the door for God's blessings.
"God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually.
Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise
and appreciation from someone else.
God loves it, too.
An amazing thing happens when we offer praise
and thanksgiving to God.
When we give God enjoyment,
our own hearts are filled with joy."
-- Rick Warren
So, throughout the day,
let us give thanks to our ever generous,
loving God who gives us so much,
and before we go to sleep tonight, and every night,
let us review the day and thank him
for all the gifts he has given us during the day.