Saturday November 27, 2004
Giving Thanks in Everything
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We can all agree some verses are easier to memorize than to practice. Certainly that is true of the admonitions to "rejoice always." We gladly follow this command when things are going well, but when the bottom drops out of life, we suddenly begin to question the truth of "in everything give thanks."
To understand the importance of being grateful in every circumstance, we must know the answers to two questions. Why are we to give thanks in everything? And how are we to do so? We say our thanks to God not necessarily because we feel grateful, but because it is a command. And the Lord gave the decree because He knew that expressing gratitude keeps us continually aware of His presence. God allows painful situations into our life for a reason, and our gratitude motivates us to look for that purpose. In addition, a grateful attitude makes us aware of our dependence upon God and consequently builds our trust in Him.
No matter how compelling the reasons, giving thanks in everything is impossible for unbelievers. The Holy Spirit gives Christians the strength for impossible tasks. He enables each of us to become the person the Lord wants us to be and to do the work He wants done. Even when we do not have a single logical reason to say thank you, the Spirit of God empowers us to express gratitude. When we understand the why and how, God provides the means for us to declare thanks in everything. That is a victory worth the battle.
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