A THANKFUL LIFE By Pastor Scott Henry

• November 1, 2016

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Bible gives us a multitude of reasons to be thankful to God.  In the Psalms, we learn that we give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  The psalmist also declares that we ought to give thanks to God because His mercy endures forever.  Moses wrote in Exodus 20:6 that God shows “mercy to thousands of generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”  Another reason we give thanks to God is because He is the sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth who provides for His people.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God “gives us richly all things to enjoy.”  And David wrote in Psalm 37:23-26, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand.  I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed.”

The psalmist gives thanks to the Lord because He redeemed his life from the pit, and because every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights (James 1:17); “Who keeps truth forever, executes justice, shows mercy, gives food to the hungry, freedom to the prisoners, opens the eyes of the blind, raises those who are bowed down, and loves the righteous” (Psalm 146:6-8).  The Bible has a myriad of things for which we ought to give thanks to the Lord, and so the Apostle Paul simply says in 1 Thess. 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Did you notice the all-inclusive words in our text?  “In everything give thanks.”  There are many favorable circumstances that happen in each of our lives for which giving thanks to God is altogether appropriate, and rather easy to do.  But what about the times when things are not so pleasant?  Are you willing to give God thanks when in His good providence pain, suffering, hurt, turmoil, or death touches your life?  How then do you respond to God?  Are you one who seeks the blessings or the Giver of all blessings?  The Apostle Paul says in our text that we are to give thanks to Almighty God in EVERY THING!

We may not be able to understand every little detail God is doing in our life, or why He has done certain things the way He has, but we do know from Scripture that He has promised to work all things together for His glory and our eternal good (Rom. 8:28), and that He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).  This should make us thankful to God in all things, even the evil that He sends upon us in this troubled life.  If we truly believe God causes all things to work together for His glory and our eternal good, then we can be thankful no matter what situation we may find ourselves.

We must look to the end result of what God is doing and the word of Scripture to us is simply that we must trust our heavenly Father even though we may not understand what He is doing.  As we read in Hebrews 11:8: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance.  And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”  And He did so, even as Sarah regarding the birth of Isaac, because he judged Him faithful who had promised” (Heb. 11:11).  Walking by faith in the promises of God enables the child of God to be thankful to the LORD in every circumstance.  Take time today to praise His holy name!

Category: Scott Henry

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