In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 The 5:18)
Recently I was speaking with another individual who started to wish me, “Happy Thanksgiving.” At that moment, there was a slight pause. Maybe I should not say happy. It’s not been a thankful year. My reply was along these lines that even in the worst of life, there are the mercies of Christ to be grateful. God’s goodness is there, even in the worst of times.Lost humanity is characterized by a refusal to honor God and express thankfulness to Him as the Creator of all things. If there is a place where gratitude should abound, it is the church.
Here is a quick perusal of some of the New Testament occurrences of thankful moments:
- Six times, thankfulness is expressed to the Lord for our daily food (Mat 15:36; Mar 8:6; Joh 6:11, 13; Act 27:35; 1 Cor 10:30; 14:17). Once, thankfulness is expressed in connection with the Lord’s Supper (Mat 26:27; Mar 14:23; Luk 22:17–19; 1 Cor 11:24).
- Thankfulness for heard/answered prayer (Joh 11:41).
- Thankfulness at the sight of fellow believers (Act 28:15).
- Thankfulness at the faith of believers proclaimed (Rom 1:8).
- Thankfulness expressed by gospel behavior (Rom 14:6; Col 3:17; 1 The 5:18).
- Thankfulness for other faithful believers (Rom 16:4; Phm 4).
- Thankfulness for the churches of Christ (1 Cor 1:4; Eph 1:16; Phi 1:3; Col 1:3; 1 The 1:2; 2 The 1:3).
- Thankfulness for avoiding the possibility of accusation (1 Cor 1:14).
- Thankfulness for spiritual giftedness (1 Cor 14:17).
- Thankfulness for the Lord’s favor (2 Cor 1:11).
- Thankfulness is expressed when gratitude is infused in the public ministry of the church (Eph 5:20).
- Thankfulness for a believer’s inheritance of glory (Col 1:12).
- Thankfulness for the work and election of the salvation in another’s heart (1 The 2:13; 2 The 2:13).
- Thankfulness for enlarging a church’s faith and love to one another (2 The 1:3).
- Thankfulness for the day when God takes to Himself the intervention of His reign of the earth (Rev 11:17).
Perhaps, you need to command yourself during this season of life. The Psalmist certainly did. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. (Psa 103:1)