In Everything Give Thanks

Keith Knight 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving in 1863, in the middle of a terrible civil war. He said the country's blessings were due to the "ever watchful providence of Almighty God... No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy." And he asked for the "Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it."

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul gives a series of short little commands like "rejoice always," and "pray without ceasing." In verse 18 he says, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." One of the things God loves is when we're thankful. Even if we don't understand why things happen in life. Even when we're going through difficult times. Even when life seems unfair and injustices seem to be the norm. I think this kind of attitude of thankfulness pleases the Lord. As a nation, as a state, as a community, as a church, as a family, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have a lot to be thankful for.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I think of many people throughout the world who are facing life threatening circumstances. Evil and corruption are running rampant throughout society. People are living in poverty. People are trying to survive the storms of life. People battling disease and illness. People are trying to overcome severe economic hardship. Trouble is inevitable. Life can look pretty dark to many people. Suffering commonplace. People worry about what the future holds for them. And while I don’t know what the future holds for you, I do know who holds the future. God holds the future. He is sovereign and all-loving. And for that, we give thanks and praise!

Can you thank the Lord today, no matter your circumstance?
Can you give thanks and say that God is good, no matter what?

I’m reminded of a key phrase I learned years ago…
"God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is good!”

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