“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
There are so many scriptures about thanksgiving, being thankful, or saying ‘thank you.’ In Luke 10:21 Jesus starts out His prayer with “I thank you, Father.” Paul and David were also two very thankful people who suffered many hardships but participated in thanksgiving throughout their lives and trials - without ceasing!
I was born on Thanksgiving Day and I believe that was an intention of God. Thanksgiving is something He has put in me and I enjoy doing it. I have even learned to thank God in the midst of horrible situations – not for the situations, but for Who He is in the midst of it all! There is Someone who is bigger than anything life can throw at us and for that, I am thankful! I am not alone and I can learn more of Who He is when I am thankful! He reveals Himself to the humble but stands far off from the proud. (Ps. 138:6)
However, thanksgiving isn’t always the first thing out of my mouth. It is too often the last thing after I have processed a whole lot of garbage, so the Ephesians 5 scripture has challenged me in recent days. It is the will of the Lord for us to be thankful in ALL circumstances. Many of us seek the Lord for His will in our lives and here is a scripture that clearly defines what He wants from us. No confusion here. No need to fast and pray. In all things and at all times, be grateful and thankful. In the good times and the hard times we serve a God who is bigger, wiser, name above all names, power above all powers, and the only God and Lord of this world. So why is thanksgiving the last thing to come out after complaining or questioning or rehearsing negative aspects?
Selfishness. We are selfish, self-absorbed people. It’s all about us and thanksgiving takes us out of the realm of us and puts us in the realm of Him! There are so many times we could be thankful as the above scriptures state. Instead of useless, foolish words, we could say all sorts of thankful things. Instead of being anxious and fearful we could say, “Thank you God that you are greater than the troubles of my heart”! Instead of being caught-up in the circumstances of life we could say ‘thank you’ when things are going great and ‘thank you that I can learn from this’ when things aren't going so great.
Thanksgiving would save us from depression, fear, anxiety, self-absorption, anger, self-pity and all sorts of other prisons. God’s View of us is that we are His children and He loves giving to His kids. Thus, our view should be thanksgiving!