Giving thanks in these challenging times could an unexpected blessing to you. In a time when everyone is concerned about their health and safety, we are still called to give thanks.
- In perilous times we may have a tendency to forget to be thankful. We need to give thanks!
2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV): 3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
- Have an attitude of gratitude – thankful for what God has done for us.
Romans 1:18–21 (ESV): 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
- God has given us many reasons to be thankful! It would be impossible for us to count all of our blessings every day.
Colossians 2:7 (ESV): 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
- Not the least of our blessings is the body of believers that God has given us to build each other up and help one another.
Colossians 3:12–16 (ESV): 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Thankfulness in prayer is vital to a healthy prayer life. By doing so, you replace anxiety with prayerful thankfulness!
Philippians 4:6–7 (NIV): 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Benefits of Being Thankful in Everything
- We could have everything in this life but if we do not have thankfulness for the forgiveness of sins, we have nothing.
Romans 8:28 (ESV): 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
2 Thessalonians 2:13–14 (ESV): 13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We are able to rejoice even in tribulation when we are thankful! Recognize that in this time of worldwide upheaval, there are so many people who are approaching God in prayer that may not otherwise. What a magnificent thought!
Romans 5:3–5 (ESV): 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
- Rejoice! Realize that no matter what we may be going through right now, it’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through. It’s probably nothing like what the first century Christians endured – losing their lives just because they were Christians and stood up for Him.
Matthew 5:10–12 (ESV): 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- The trials and tribulations that come along have a purpose. Not everything is easy or enjoyable but we can look back and see the foreknowledge of God in all things. So be patient. Think forward to how you will be developed as a child of God.
James 1:2–3 (ESV): 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
We can look to the story of Daniel in Daniel chapter 6. He was faithful to God and he had enemies that wanted to use his faithfulness to God against him. So they had the king make a decree that everyone should worship the king, knowing that Daniel would not follow that rule. Daniel went into his room and prayed to God anyway, knowing that death would be the sentence.
- Daniel 6:10–11 (ESV): 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.
Daniels’ habit and custom was to pray and give thanks before God three times a day. It was his custom! What a great example to us to make thankfulness a habit. He knew God was greater and would bless him, even when facing life-threatening circumstances.
Don’t we want to be able to rejoice in all circumstances? Be thankful for everything and in everything!
Romans 8:35–39 (ESV): 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are so many things that can be taught in this time of a spread of a global pandemic. But in the middle of every circumstance, thankfulness will help us to keep our eyes on God, keep all things in perspective, and see us through with the appropriate attitude.