Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1, ESV)
We look forward each year to Thanksgiving. It is a time when we enjoy great food, family, friends, and possibly a little football! This raises the question though, should Thanksgiving be isolated to one day of the year? For the Christian, the answer is no! We as Christians are called to be people of thanksgiving 365 days a year. We are instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Why are we to give thanks in all circumstances? There is so much that is wrong in our world. All you have to do is check out the daily news to see that the world we live in is all too often filled with conflict, pain, confusion, and turmoil. Wouldn’t we also confess that we have days that feel that way? Yet, the question remains, how can we give thanks “in all circumstances”?
1. God is Good
When circumstances do not provide us reasons to be thankful, then we must focus our attention upon the character of our God. Regardless of what may be going on in our lives, the character of our God never changes. Not only is our God good, he is PERFECTLY GOOD. He will never think or do anything wrong. Therefore, he can be trusted! When we are hurting or confused, we can trust that the good God we serve has Sovereignly allowed suffering into this present world for a time, season, and higher purpose. Not only is our God good, but the Bible teaches that he works for our good even in the midst of difficulty. In Romans 8:28 (NIV) we see that “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. Let’s trust our good God to work for our good, no matter what our circumstances may be at the present moment.
2. God’s Love for us is Steadfast
The love of God for us as His children is perfect and unchanging. This love was most fully expressed when Jesus, the son of God and second person of the Trinity, died on the cross for our sins. There is no greater love than when a person is willing to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus laid down his life for us and calls us His friends. This eternal love that the Father has for us, through the sacrifice of Christ, will never change or diminish in intensity. We never, ever, have to worry about whether our God will leave us or forsake us. He will not.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)
3. This World is Temporary
In 1 Corinthians 7:31 (NIV), we see that “this world in its present form is passing away”. Child of God there is a perfect world coming. It is not here yet. God is preparing it for you and you for it. In heaven, thanksgiving and praise will flow spontaneously from the children of God unto the throne of God for how we were able to overcome this world by the precious blood of the Lamb, Jesus. Hold on weary and worn believer, Jesus has not failed you yet, nor will he ever do so. He is faithful, and will walk with us through this world of sin, suffering, and death and escort us into the perfect bright shining glory of the eternal kingdom of God.
Now that’s reason for Thanksgiving!