Be Thankful in the Midst
Duane Vander Klok
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As believers, we do not give thanks to God simply when we feel like being thankful. We give thanks to Him because He is worthy every day and in every situation. Notice that the verse says “in everything give thanks,” it does not say “for everything…”. Not every situation in your life has come from God. He is a giver of good gifts, and we know He does not bring bad situations. But He can work in your life even in the midst of a difficult situation!
When we are thankful, we magnify God’s work in our lives. Thankfulness alone may not make your difficult situation disappear, but it refocuses your eyes on the goodness and faithfulness of God. As you look into your past, do you see pain and hardships or do you see how God was working even through those situations? Thankfulness will magnify God and allow you to see His blessings and faithfulness throughout your life as well as strengthen your spirit to trust in Him even through the trials!
Psalm 78:40-42 says,
How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they did not build their faith through thankfulness, but instead they doubted God and forgot His goodness. Their dwindling faith even limited what God could do for them! He could not operate in His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of their overwhelming doubt. They were not thankful for what He had already done, so they were unable to receive what He wanted to do for them now.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, to receive from God, and to connect with God. Stop and think: how can you seek God and acknowledge His goodness in your daily life?