“Thank you, Jesus!” I repeated over and over as I reflected on God’s faithfulness and goodness. As I gave thanks to the Lord, my heart suddenly gets flooded with the uncomprehending peace of God, exhilarating joy of the Lord and an overwhelming sense of assurance in God’s word. Who could have thought that giving thanks to God could be so fulfilling, joyous and faith igniting.
Giving thanks to God has sometimes been interpreted as a mandate or a forced act expected of the believer. More than being a forced expectation of the believer, it is a privilege and God’s will for the believer to be able to express gratitude to God.
In Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes to the church to give thanks to God in all circumstances. This means regardless of the situation in the believer’s life, the believer ought to give thanks to God. A mere glance at the text reads as thanksgiving being a forced act expected of the believer. Especially giving thanks when one is experiencing a difficult life situation can be quite challenging. It is quite unpleasant to give thanks when one is experiencing really difficult times. During difficult times, doubt may set in as the situation can be very overwhelming and instead of giving thanks one can end up questioning God. But this is what Paul is drawing our hearts and minds to know that giving thanks is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. It is God’s will that in every situation our hearts and minds will be positioned in faith and trust in Him and with that thanksgiving naturally emerges.
Our faith in God allows us to see the unseen victory and that assurance brings peace, joy and hope in our hearts which makes us thankful. It is God’s will that we will always have this disposition of thanksgiving as embedded in it is the revelation of our faith in Him. When difficult situations in life seem to become overbearing and shifts your disposition from being a thanksgiver to a complainer that is a sign that you have moved out of God’s Will. This reveals that you have allowed your fear of what is happening to outweigh your faith in what God is up to. Our thanksgiving in challenging times is a witness of our faith in God that all things will work out for our good and for God’s glory.
Dear beloved in Christ, if you may be struggling to give thanks to God due to the situation you may be facing, it is my prayer that you will shift your focus from the situation and turn to God’s word. God’s word will give you the answers you are searching, it will give you the assurance to persevere and as you are filled with such faith, thanksgiving will pour out of your heart unto the great I AM. This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus that you will give thanks in everything not as a forced expectation but as one whose heart is ignited with faith in God’s faithfulness.
Be blessed and always know that God dearly loves you.