Updated: Jan 3
Is it possible to be thankful when I have nothing to be thankful for?
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV) '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.'
Three things this small subset of scripture tells us to do while we are in this world as Christians. To rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances. To do this, it would seem that we could never sleep; so how do we do this if we have to do other things in our lives? The answer is we need to have the mindset (the established set of attitudes held by someone) where we are always rejoicing, always praying (in communion with God), and always thanking the Lord for His goodness and mercy in our lives. We can absolutely do what these scriptures are asking us to do when we look at it like this.
Today I want you to focus on being in thanksgiving concerning God. The definition of thanksgiving is having an expression of gratitude, especially toward God. So when God is telling us as sons and daughters to be thankful in all circumstances, He knows that we can accomplish this if we choose to do this in all circumstances. That's right; we can choose to be thankful regardless of everything that we are going through. Being in thanksgiving requires that we have a mindset toward God that focuses on being thankful no matter what takes place in our lives.
I am going to give a quick illustration using the Book of Job in the Bible. In chapter 1 of Job, Job lost all of his livestock, his workers, and his sons and daughters in one day. This was a bad day by anybody's standards. But what we see from Job after he received all of this bad news on the same day is praise and worship to God. (Job 1:20-22 ESV) '20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job made a choice to choose to be in thanksgiving toward God even when he probably didn't feel like it. He didn't allow feelings and emotions of loss and suffering to rule him. What He did was made a choice to honor and praise God in all of his hardships. Very difficult to do but not impossible!
Our choices mean everything to us and the Lord. When we choose to do what is right and good by our Lord Jesus in our most difficult times and seasons, the Lord truly knows that we are for Him. This year as we enter into the holiday season, I want to encourage you to do your best to be thankful, whatever your circumstances may be. Even if it is just being thankful that you still have breath in your body and purpose still left here on Earth. The Apostle Paul taught us in his teaching in (Phillipians 4:11-13 ESV) '11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.' If we can learn to choose to be in thanksgiving in all of our circumstances, good, bad, or indifferent, we will have done what the Lord has asked us to do regarding (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV) 'give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'
Sermon: Remaining Thankful When I Feel Thankless - November 18, 2017
(Older video - quality not the best, but the message is awesome!)
Challenge yourself to pray and read God's Word on a daily basis. As you understand more, start acting out on what it says. Then you will truly see the blessing of the Word of God in your life.
Ask your Heavenly Father to help you to understand His Word and give you the wisdom and understanding needed to act upon it.
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Take Care Family,
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