A family sat down to eat. The mother served leftovers for lunch. As her little son prayed, he said, “God, thank you for this food and the hands that repaired it.” Are you thankful today? The word comes from God that He wants us to learn and practice thanksgiving. We are to “be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). And exactly when and what and who are we to be thankful for? As to when to be thankful, we are to “give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). As to what we should thank God for, the Holy Spirit says again in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,”In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” There is no time or circumstance in life when God would not want us to practice thanksgiving. And as to who we should thank God for, the word from God in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 tells us-“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” There is no time, place, or person who should ever find us unthankful and ungrateful in our hearts!
Shakespeare, in his Twelfth Night, Act III, has a character making the statement, “I can no other answer make but thanks, And thanks, And ever thanks.” That statement effectively sums up the attitude a Christian ought to have toward God. Yes, there are times and places and people for whom it is difficult to thank God. Painful circumstances and problems with people usually annoy rather than bring joy. But the word from God is in. He wants us to choose thanksgiving in every time and in every place and for every person. Matthew Henry, the famous Bible scholar, was once accosted by thieves and robbed of his purse. After the incident he wrote these words in his diary- “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” The apostle Paul sums it up in 2 Corinthians 9:15- “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” God is so good! As Christians think about the unfathomable love and mercy of God as demonstrated at the cross, our souls are made to cry, “Thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks!”
Dan Gulley Smithville Church of Christ