It is Gratitude Monday and
the habit of thinking upon
things to be thankful for is
what God wants us to do.
I will use my journal to write
down some things, seeing clearly
into the days. Enumerating them
as Ann has done.She spoke
at a Benedictine Abbey this
past weekend. Or maybe was just
I'm so thankful for the warm air
descending into our days. Hopes
of blooms and greenery and color
in our landscape.
It is 64 degrees out and feels like 64
degrees. I'm so thankful I hung a load
of laundry outside!
Here to study the verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:18
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Geneva Study Bible:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
(f) An acceptable thing to God, and such as he approves well of.
5:18 For this - That you should thus rejoice, pray, give thanks. Is the will of God - Always good, always pointing at our salvation.
18 For this is the will of God — that is, according to Chrysostom’s opinion — that we give thanks. As for myself, I am of opinion that a more ample meaning is included under these terms — that God has such a disposition towards us in Christ, that even in our afflictions we have large occasion of thanksgiving. For what is fitter or more suitable for pacifying us, than when we learn that God embraces us in Christ so tenderly, that he turns to our advantage and welfare everything that befalls us? Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that this is a special remedy for correcting our impatience — to turn away our eyes from beholding present evils that torment us, and to direct our views to a consideration of a different nature — how God stands affected towards us in Christ.
Chrysostom's example of "Praise For All Things"...
Three hundred years after Paul lived John Chrysostom, a good and brave man who preached very plainly against iniquity of all kinds. The empress was not a good woman, so she schemed to have him falsely accused and banished. He died an exile from his home.
Thirty years later, his body was bought back to Constantinople for burial in the imperial tomb. Chrysostom's motto was inscribed on the tomb: "Praise God for everything!"
As his friends testified, "When he was driven from home, when he was a stranger in the strange land, his letters would often end with that doxology, 'Praise God for all things!' "
William Law wrote in 1729 in his famous book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life wrote that...
If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and all perfection, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it to a blessing. Could you, therefore, work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it heals with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness
Spurgeon admits that...
I have not always found it easy to practice this duty; this I confess to my shame. When suffering extreme pain some time ago, a brother in Christ said to me, "Have you thanked God for this?" I replied that I desired to be patient, and would be thankful to recover. "But," said he, "in everything give thanks, not after it is over, but while you are still in it, and perhaps when you are enabled to give thanks for the severe pain, it will cease." I believe that there was much force in that good advice.
As John Piper asks
How can we not be thankful when we owe everything to God? (A Godward Life)Give thanks (2168)(eucharisteo [word study] from eucháristos = thankful, grateful, well-pleasing - Indicates the obligation of being thankful to someone for a favor done <> in turn from eú = well + charízomai = to grant, give.; English - Eucharist) means to show that one is under obligation by being thankful. To show oneself as grateful (most often to God in the NT).
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself...
Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.
Much to his surprise, however, Pastor Whyte began by praying...
We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.
That's the habitual attitude of gratitude Paul is calling for in all of God's children, beloved. Gratitude is an attitude that like all spiritual disciplines, needs to be consciously developed and deliberately cultivated in the dependence on the Holy Spirit and the grace in which we stand. There are some practical steps that can cultivate the gracious attribute of gratitude. For example, you can make thanksgiving a priority in your prayer life (Col 4:2-note) rather than focusing only on petitions and requests. There may even be blessed times when your prayer time consists of nothing but gratefulness to the Almighty. You can always thank Him for the various wonderful aspects of your salvation (adoption & sovereign care, forgiveness, inheritance, the gift of His Spirit, freedom from sin's power and Satan's authority, etc) Have you had any prayer times like that recently? And you can thank Him for the "smaller" blessings of life, those things we all to often take for granted. You can ask Him to make you very sensitive to grumbling and mumbling complaints which are the polar opposite of a thankful spirit. You can utilize spiritual songs (Ep 5:20-note) to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, allowing the words of a wonderful hymn to lift your eyes and heart in a way that nothing else can. Thank people who bless you in even the smallest ways. It will complete your enjoyment of the blessing, and it will increase your capacity to thank God. Reflect on and serve those less fortunate than you. This will remind you of how gracious God has been to you, how far He has brought you, and how much He has blessed you—which will in turn motivate you to be grateful to God.