Giving Thanks in Everything
As we pause this week to render hearty and humble thanks to our blessed God of abundant grace and gifts, we hear His Word direct us in this spiritual activity too. Left to ourselves we would never praise and thank the Lord, though we bask in His blessings. Only grace makes us grateful, and that too is God's gift. May we thank Him for the ability to be thankful too.
In a past Standard Bearer article Prof. R. Decker expounded on the calling of God's Word in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, " In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ." This is a portion of what he said:
As churches we are to give thanks in everything. For the boundless blessings we enjoy as we gather in the communion of saints to hear the Good Shepherd through the preaching of the Word . . . give thanks. What a blessing that is! Lords Day after Lord's Day we hear Jesus as He comforts, instructs, corrects, and encourages us. For the wonderful task of preaching the gospel on the mission fields . . . give thanks. For the privilege of witnessing beyond the four walls of our sanctuaries by means of radio and printed page and by our godly walk . . . give thanks. For being used by God for the gathering of His church out of the nations and for the coming of His Kingdom . . . give thanks. For pastors, elders, and deacons through whom Christ, the Chief Shepherd, cares for us . . . give thanks. For the freedom to worship unmolested and to educate our children in the fear of God . . . give thanks.
But this is not everything! When the text says "in everything," it means that should God take away our freedoms and send us persecution we must also then give thanks. There are thousands of saints in other lands who must worship in secret and who are put in prison merely for reading the Bible. To them the Lord says, "give thanks." Also when the great tribulation comes we shall be called to give thanks in everything. After all, to suffer together with Christ is also to be glorified together with Him!
As we celebrate our national Thanksgiving Day this Thursday, may we be sure to express our gratitude "in every circumstance we find ourselves in. For in Jesus Christ all things are for our sakes and for our good as God's people.