(Image by bdec via Flickr)
This is a good time to look at the call of thankfulness in the life of the believer.
Throughout the scriptures in both the old and the new, believers are instructed to express praise and thankfulness to God as a part of their daily worship and devotion.
Here’s a few good ones to remember:
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
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. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In fact, thankfulness is the fruit and proof of one’s faith. According to Romans 1:21 the opposite is true for the ungodly who do not “honor him as God or give thanks to him.”
All believers are called to be thankful no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in (See: I Thess. 5:18 below). In fact the very act of rejoicing, thanking, and praising God changes our very lives for the better. It also can open the door to miracles.
I am reminded of the occasion when Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison. Most of us including myself would have probably complained about the situation and questioned God about why he allowed it to happen. But Paul and Silas gave thanks and sang praises and it changed everything (Acts 16:-40). I also know of one pastor who went through similar circumstances who sang praises and converted more than a few in prison in the process.
Even if our praises and thankfulness do not change the circumstances we find ourselves in, it does change us and open us up to greater intimacy with God. This is God’s will for our lives and real blessings follow.
1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.