20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV)
I love the holiday we call Thanksgiving. I love the crisp fall air. I love the time being spent with family. I love watching Football games. I love the traditional American Thanksgiving meal with with turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, biscuits, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc. I enjoy listening to loved ones around the table pondering about what they are most thankful for.
The Apostle Paul had never met any Americans. He probably never had turkey and cranberry sauce. He never watched football, but I am sure he would have been an Eagles fan! When Paul talked about giving thanks he was talking about an attitude that is to be at the very core of a godly person. We give thanks. Always. And for everything. Now, that is a tall order, don't you think?
“The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust - not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.”
- Brennan Manning
Your ability to be thankful to God for everything will depend upon your view of God. If you view him as sovereign and good then you can be thankful at all times. You can recognize that everything he places in your life is for your ultimate good even though it may not feel good.
Are you struggling with the "hand that God has dealt you?" Learn to be thankful, trusting his good and perfect purpose. Are you delighted about your current circumstances? Be thankful. In all things, give thanks.