Thankful in Everything PT 2
by MBC STAFF
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Why Does God Require His Children To Be Thankful?
First, we are commanded to live in a spirit of thanksgiving. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Here the writer of Hebrews complicates our dilemma given to us by Paul in Thessalonians when he instructs us that in “everything” we are to give thanks to God by adding that we are to do this “continually.” Of course, as Christians we desire to see the will of God done in our lives and endeavor to obey the commands of Scripture as fully as the grace of God enables us to, but how are we to be thankful in everything continually?
The Apostle Paul, who poses the issue to us, is also the one who answers it in his letter to the Colossians when he writes, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). God created all things and can use all elements of His creation to display His goodness. Whether He chooses to use good or bad circumstances, we should be spiritually mature enough to thank Him.
Now we can see why Paul says that we are to give thanks to God “in everything” because all things ultimately have their source in Him. In a literal sense, we could do nothing but praise and worship God for all that He has done and created. In fact, that is how we will spend eternity! (Rev 4:11)
Having established Paul’s meaning of the word “everything” in 1 Thessalonians 5, let’s now look to explore how we can do this “continually” as the writer of Hebrews 13 instructs us to do.
Practically we cannot spend all of our time doing this amidst our jobs and families, so what is this biblical command really asking of us? Again Paul comes to our aid when he writes, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2 KJV). I must, as a Christian possess an affinity, a love and a desire for God. The outworking of this is experienced in praise and thanksgiving. So, while I cannot continually use my mouth for uttering thanksgiving to God, I CAN continually keep an affection, a love and a desire for God in my heart which is the fountain from which thanksgiving flows.
Why does God require His children to be thankful? Because He requires our love (Mk 12:30). As we love God in and through all things, our awareness of Him sharpens and our praise to Him and thankfulness for Him will increase as well. Our continual stewardship of our affection toward God is a sure way to always remain thankful and thus fulfill the biblical command to thankfulness.
For His Glory,
April 06, 2016
April 06, 2016
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