In Ephesians 5:20 Paul writes: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
During this time of year when we give thanks for the blessings of God which we have received do we think about why God has given us those blessings? Do we think about all of our needs that have been met, at times without us even asking for them?
We go through some trying times and many of us actually blame God for those rather than thanking Him for the strength to get through them. Yet, we are supposed to give thanks to Him because it is a commandment…not a suggestion. God loves each of us and whether we realize it or not we should give Him the glory for all that He has given us. Although many of us look at what we have and we think that we are the ones who got this thing or that thing when it is really God Who has given us the ability and the knowledge needed to do our jobs and be able to provide for our family.
Being thankful for everything is not hard to do, but it is difficult to give thanks to the right One Who provided for us. We have grown up in a world that teaches independence and individuality so we look at what we have as our accomplishments and not as gifts from God. Living in the world as it is today we look around and see that the world is so focused upon what each person wants and their personal idea of the “truth” and what is right in their eyes until any idea of looking at the bigger picture is lost. To many people, it seems to make no sense. Why would they want to consider their actions having an impact on the lives of many people in the world?
If they aren’t hurting others with the way that they live then why should they care about someone in another country having air pollution problems or problems growing enough food? We have become so individualistic until we live selfish lives and look at the world around us and we just don’t care about anyone less fortunate than we are.
Being thankful to God is actually the secret to a happy and productive life. So why can’t we live thankfully all the time rather than on just one holiday during the year? Paul wrote in Ephesians that we should be “thankful always” and that is why we seem to have trouble with this. Give thanks to God for your home and your family. Give thanks for your retirement or your job. Give thanks for your spouse and your children and your grandchildren and for their continued health.
Thanksgiving is coming soon and we should truly give thanks to the One Who provides for us every day. Psalm 68:19 says: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”. Every day each of us gets a fresh basket of benefits such as the air we breathe, the food we have to eat, and the clothes we wear so we should never pray or do anything without thanking God for everything.
Consider this: why should God give you anything else if you don’t even thank Him for what He’s already given to you? We should be leaving out some of our complaints in our prayers and be adding in more thanks for those good things which we enjoy! Like having food on the table and a warm place to sleep and clean linens and clothes to wear. We take many of these things for granted but in other parts of the world, not very far from where we live, there are many who would love to have even the things which we throw away.
In the Old Testament book of Exodus, Moses had to put up with all of the Israelite’s complaints and their whining about all sorts of things…but they weren’t slaves anymore. Many of them even wished to go back to being slaves because they didn’t like the conditions of their freedom. Moses had to plead with God many times to redeem the people from His wrath or they would’ve been wiped out by the God Who had saved them. They weren’t thankful for the manna which fed them every day. They weren’t thankful for being set free for very long.
We should be thankful for our freedom which was given to us through the suffering of Jesus on the cross. We are free from the burden of sin and it’s consequences if we have given our lives and our heart to Him. Yet, many times we begin our Christian life with Him and we are thankful for the burden being lifted and for a time we are very thankful. Then when temptation comes back and we slip or we feel that we are being wrongfully tempted we blame God for it. He didn’t tempt us but we want to blame someone and it is either Him or the Devil.
Be thankful for your life and all of the good things and the bad days that you have since many of our bad days would be welcomed by other believers who are in countries where they are persecuted much more harshly than we are.