Saints of God, in the midst of a storm at sea and with those who were taking him prisoner to be brought before Caesar, before Paul broke bread, he gave thanks (Acts 27). As David rejoiced at the fact that the people followed his example and gave plenty of gold, silver, bronze, iron and precious stones for the building of a temple for the Lord, he gave thanks (I Chronicles 29). And when Jonah spoke that “my soul fainted within me” during his traumatic ordeal in the belly of a whale, he still remembered the Lord and sacrificed to Him with the “voice of thanksgiving.” Only then did the Lord speak to the fish, which subsequently delivered him from what would have been a sure death. (Jonah 2)
In Paul’s example, he thanked God for the food they were about to partake; but I firmly believe there was much more behind his thanksgiving on that particular day. He and the rest of the people aboard the ship had just survived “no small tempest”-in today’s language this would probably be a high category hurricane. In other words, their lives had just been spared.
It’s amazing how we automatically “thank God” when we have escaped some tragedy, or death itself. But how about the everyday things that happen to us? What about being thankful that we drove to work this morning with no accidents? Or that we were able to put one foot in front of the other today? Not all people can do that you know. If it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t feel the warm rays of the sun; we wouldn’t have that comfortable bed to sleep in each night, we wouldn’t have a spouse who takes care of the things we can’t; we wouldn’t have faithful friends whom we can trust; without God we wouldn’t even be able to breathe. Just let tat sink in for a moment….…
Everything was made by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). So who are we not to be thankful for everything we have? Anything we have is His anyway. He’s just allowing us to be a steward over it for a little while. Let’s think about that in detail for a moment: He owns our bank accounts and all of our investments, even the hidden ones “overseas.” (He owns the sea, too).
God owns our houses and our cars. He also owns our clothes, our jewelry, yes, and our make-up too. He is the real Creator of that great business idea we just thought of this morning. He gave us the brains we have, remember? He fashioned our bodies together for we were “fearfully and wonderfully” made. In this context, fearfully means in awe because when God looks at us, His creation-He’s in awe at His own handiwork. (Psalm 139:14) Now that’s something to be thankful for. When was the last time that we simply told God, “Thank You, Lord, for just being You”? And that speaks libraries.
Not only do we have multiple examples throughout scripture to be thankful in all kinds of situations-whether traumatic, joyful or sad-we also have been given directives from God Himself through His word to give thanks. Here’s just one scripture to meditate on:
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
In everything- in the good times and the not so good times we are to be thankful. To be thankful is to be humble and beautiful. It gives rise to praise, which rolls into our worship-our lifestyle, not just our songs-which when persevered, brings us to a state of dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, the very presence of God. So let’s be thankful. Not only in this season of the Thanksgiving and soon to be Christmas Holiday, but always, in everything, let’s purpose in our hearts to be thankful to God for He is good and His mercy endures forever.
Saints of God, in everything we must remember to give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.
Bless His Holy Name!