In Every Thing Give Thanks

I expect everyone is preparing for their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Maybe this year, you will try a new dish or two.  I am sure Thanksgiving is different for everyone, but for most, it is a time to reflect upon what we are thankful for.  As I have taken some time to think about what I am thankful for, it got me thinking about the whole process.  When we think about what we are thankful for it is a time of reflection, a time of remembering, or calling to mind.  We remember things from the past year. We think about our current situation and the possibilities in the future.  As I pondered the process of how we become thankful, I opened up the scriptures to find numerous occasions of the apostle Paul exhorting us to "remember", or for us to "put in remembrance".  Thankfulness should be a characteristic that we as Christians should be filled with.  Thanksgiving ought to be a constant, daily activity for us. Thankfulness ought to saturate our minds and hearts.  Everything that our Heavenly Father has given us for life and godliness is the source of our thankfulness. Therefore we have a lot to be thankful for; yet, "remembering" is the means of keeping, maintaining, and holding in our mind all our Father has given us. We don't keep, hold, or stir them up because we could lose His provision for us, but to squeeze out their life-giving power.  As we "remember" the things of God freely given unto us, our thankfulness is refreshed and can even be added to. When we advance our knowledge and understanding of the deep things of God our thankfulness increases and the power is strengthened.  In other words, as we learn the Word of God, the effectual working of God's deep things cultivates our thankfulness and becomes deep.

The apostle Paul constantly calls the saints to remember,
"Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you."
1 Corinthians 11:2

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;"
Ephesians 2:11

"The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds.  Grace be with you.  Amen."
Colossians 4:18

"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;"
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:"
2 Timothy 2:8
Above is a sample of Paul's exhortations for the church to "remember".  He calls the church to "remember" and when we examine the surrounding context the grace, works, and provisions of God will stack up and grant our minds and hearts to meditate upon. We will be able to write a lengthy list of God's grace for us which will yield thankfulness and thanksgiving.  Thankfulness recognizes what has been done, given, and bestowed. Thankfulness also esteems the worth of God's things to and for us. Thankfulness should not only characterize us as God's sons and daughters but ought to be "given".  When we "give thanks", especially to our Father, it is a vocal expression in response to all He has done for us.  Whether you give thanks publicly or in prayer is up to you.  A thankful heart is one thing, but to voice these things to our Father is something He delights in (Pro. 23:15-16).  Since, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28), it should become less difficult for us to "in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thes. 5:18)  If it is hard for us to do, we need to further understand all God has done for us because His grace is a bountiful supply that is thankworthy.

Although, this brief examination doesn't even scratch the surface regarding "thanksgiving", the real punch to all of this is having the capacity to "give thanks" for the future.  I expect from what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19,
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable",

that although unjustified men may not be "most miserable", they are nevertheless miserable.  The reason is because they have "no hope"; they knowingly or unknowingly have a dismal hope.  The hope they have is not one to be thankful for, for God's wrath is nothing to be thankful for (from the perspective of the unbeliever); however, we, as those who "have hope in Christ", because of that "hope" not only ought to be "thankful" and therefore "give thanks", but ought to "rejoice in the Lord alway; again I say, rejoice" (Php 4:4) and to "rejoice evermore" (1 Thes. 5:16).  We can and should be thankful and therefore "give thanks" in something that the world cannot, namely, for the life that is to come.  We are therefore "peculiar people" with the highest privilege.  

I pray that your "thanksgiving" would be one of "giving thanks", "remembering", and "rejoicing".  May these matters direct your heart and mind on every thing we can be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Look Up,
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher
Posted in

No Comments