Being Thankful - Gods Will

Updated on December 14, 2017
Ross Thompson profile image

Ross was involved in Pastoral, Evangelistic and Academic Christian activities for 40 years. Presently He writes to teach and encourage.

Being Thankful – God’s Will

Have you been trying to find God’s will in some area of your life? You have prayed about it but the answers aren’t coming. Perhaps you are dealing with some difficult issues that are persisting. Maybe it is a few small irritations that are robbing you of the quality of life you want. I identify with all those issues. None of us gets by without some difficulties. Jesus underlined the fact when He said, “In the world you will have tribulation”. (John 16:33) If it’s inevitable a struggle or two will come my way, then I want the cleverness to handle those difficulties in the best way. If God has given directions for dealing with life then it is wisdom to take notice of that instruction and act on it.

That brings us to a verse in 1Thessalonians 5:18. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Firstly, if we are not sure of God’s will in every other part of our lives, here we are certain of God’s will in at least one thing - we are to give thanks. Secondly, we have here some information on how to handle tribulations - Give thanks. Notice it says, ‘in everything’. Whatever we find ourselves ‘in’ we are to give thanks. And it is all encompassing. In ‘everything’ give thanks. Every possible experience that might come to us is included here. Have you seen those old wartime posters of Uncle Sam pointing a large finger at the reader with the caption, ‘Uncle Sam needs YOU’. This verse reminds me of that poster. The large hand and finger of Scripture points at me and the caption reads, “This is God’s will for YOU in Christ Jesus.

The Lord made it clear to me as a new Christian, He wanted me to make a habit of giving thanks in my new life. I thought it was marvellous that God had given me this awesome revelation about living for Him. I put it into practise until the first difficult circumstance came across my path. I stopped right there and did not think about it again for years. The Lord gave me a quick path to maturity and a door through which He could enter to bless me and I missed it.

It’s about obedience because the New Testament has a lot of teaching on being thankful. The problem is, giving thanks in all things, pleasant or not so pleasant, is a spiritual activity. Being thankful in difficult circumstances does not appeal to the flesh - our humanity. When I thought about it I recognized I gave thanks in difficult circumstances for a time, but when it did not instantly remove the hard thing I quit. I did not have sufficient maturity to understand when God gives an instruction it will always result in blessing.

Ephesians 5:20 gives more guidance about being thankful. “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father..”. The previous verse told us to give thanks in all things. Here we are to ‘always’ give thanks ‘for’ all things. Giving of thanks should be a regular practise, and for all things. That’s all encompassing again. If I lost my job this week I am to give thanks to God for that. If ( personal experience) my leg injury I have accepted healing for in faith, continues to be painful and to greatly hinder my mobility, this verse tells me I should thank God for that. Someone might say, “no, that can’t be right”. What am I to do? Get the scissors and cut those two verses and others about thanks giving out of my Bible? Obviously not. I should submit to the word of God, knowing anything God asks me to do will inevitably result in blessing. I believe giving thanks in all circumstances is a powerful spiritual activity and not to be taken lightly. I think of it as a spiritual weapon. Giving thanks in all circumstances will always in some way, result in benefits for those who put it into practise. Paul was not asking his readers to do something he was not doing. When he and Silas were beaten with rods and locked in the deepest and filthiest part of the Philippian prison, their response was thanks and praise. (Acts 16:22-25

We have many good things to be thankful for. We are saved, born again and have eternal life. We have the Bible and the Holy Spirit. We are loved by Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit, and we have the angels available to help us. We can also focus on the many ways God helps and supports us daily. I have one sore leg, but the list of my blessings from God is long. When we thank God in difficult situations we declare that God is in control of our lives. We also place ourselves in control of those circumstances. Paul and Silas praised and thanked God knowing, through God, they were not helpless victims of the hardships. The resulting earthquake God sent proved that. I have no doubt they thought it all worth-while when the Jailer and his family were saved,

Paul tells us in Romans 1:21 the ungodly don’t thank God. I am practising putting thanks at the beginning of all my praying. Philippians 4:6 says to include thanks giving in every type of prayer. We are not to be anxious for anything but to ask God about everything and be sure to include thanks with it. I have always thought of praise and thanksgiving as separate spiritual actions. Hebrews 13:13-15 gives another view. “Hence let us go out to Him (Jesus) outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that gives thanks to His name”. The context is thanksgiving during persecution.

I read this thanksgiving testimony recently. “Choosing gratitude helped me to see things in a whole new light. It was no longer about where I was or what was happening in the moment. It was about what I had and what God had done for me. No my husband is not perfect but neither am I. My kids don’t always listen, and my house still isn’t clean – but God has taught me to be grateful for my life anyway. To be thankful for my wonderful children and that we have a place to live. I still have days when depression sinks in but God always brings me back to His peace and reminds me what He has given me”. (Heather Hart)

If you need a nudge over the line regarding being thankful, the previous testimony is from the book; ‘21 stories of gratitude’ by Shelley Hitz. It’s an ebook on Amazon for around $4.00. Shelley Hitz has two or three other books available on being thankful. Being thankful is not about forcing a positive emotional state. Most of the time I don’t feel thankful. I have learned not to be controlled by feelings. Giving thanks is a choice just as deciding to pray or going to Church is a choice. I guarantee if you persist in thanking God, if only once or twice a day, you will soon notice a difference in yourself and your circumstances.

Ross Thompson lives in Melbourne, Australia





Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 

      10 months ago from east coast,USA

      I believe that the more we are thankful, the more things we find to be thankful about, and the difficulties. which always seem to be there can actually diminish in the face of the mercy and love we experience when we are forever giving thanks. I enjoyed reading your article. Have a great day.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)