September 25, 2020 · Bob Gass
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
God is crystal clear on this issue: we are all called to be thanks-givers. Who? You! When? In all circumstances! Why? Because it’s God’s will for you! Whatever else you may be confused about concerning God’s will, this part is clear. It’s not a suggestion—it’s a commandment. And since there are more commands in Scripture about thanksgiving than anything else, God evidently enjoys receiving thanks. The psalmist said, “I will praise the name of God with a song; and…magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock” (Psalm 69:30-31). Why does God need to remind us to give thanks? For the same reason you remind your child to do it—it’s considerate, and until it becomes habitual, we forget! David, a man after God’s own heart, prodded his often-forgetful soul into thanksgiving: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2). When you feel ungrateful, stop and read David’s “benefit list” in your Bible—it will fire up your attitude of gratitude. Even when circumstances don’t look good, God can turn them around for your benefit. In all things He deserves your thanks. Even at his lowest point in the belly of a whale, Jonah recognized the need to thank God: “Out of the belly of hell cried…I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jonah 2:2, 9). So make a habit of “giving thanks always for all things unto God” (Ephesians 5:20). In other words, develop an attitude of gratitude.