The Art of Thanksgiving
- This Psalm says to enter the temple gates with praise and with thanksgiving. It instructs us to give thanks to God, bless his name because his love endures forever. He is faithful through every age, year after year--generation after generation.
On Thanksgiving we try to remember that God provides all good things- we haven't provided them.
At other times and less joyful situations, it may not be as easy to remember to be thankful, even though we are asked to give thanks to God for everything, in all circumstances - even the troubling times.
- give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
all circumstances All means both the good times and the bad. You may ask, "Why all circumstances? Why be thankful for the bad happenings of life?" As I understand it, God doesn't cause the bad things but he will use our experiences for our ultimate good. We are to remember that God sees our whole life, not just today or this year. He knows the experiences we will need and the strength that will be required for our future and if we are willing, he will use them for His purpose.
- Paul tells us God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
This doesn't mean that all things will be good in the life of the believer but that God will overrule and work even through the tragedies caused by sin's presence in the world to accomplish his purpose in the lives of those who love Him and who have responded to his call.
Three things should enable the believer to give thanks in all circumstances: having an inner sense of joy because of the future we are promised in Christ, peace from knowing Jesus our Father, Friend, and Advocate, and knowing God plans a beneficial result from every trial. The most important result of trouble is forcing us to draw closer to our Lord - when trouble causes us to admit we can't fix it and to rely on his strength.
As we see the holiday approaching, this may be a good time to practice the art of thanksgiving for things other than the food. Make this a month of giving thanks. Every evening, as you recount the events of your day, give thanks to God for the good things and for the good that he has promised to bring out of the hard times. Then make it a lifelong habit.
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