1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Since the beginning of time, we as His children have been called to offer up thanksgiving to Him for what He has done for us. In Scripture, there were many times when God did great things for the Israelites, and they offered sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord. During this time, most forms of thanksgiving presented to the Lord were burnt offerings. They built an altar as a reminder of what God had done for them. Abraham offered up a burnt sacrifice to the Lord after He provided the ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac. (Genesis 22:3-19)
Another great way to offer thanksgiving to the Lord is through our worship. The children of Israel often offered up songs of thanksgiving. Many of the Psalms, written by David, are songs of thanksgiving to the Lord for what He had done for Israel.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” In this Scripture, we see that giving thanks to the Lord is key to being able to come into His presence – to see the Lord move wherever you are.
The Bible says that when Solomon was finished building the temple, everything was prepared. Then, the trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 5:13)
As you worship, remember that it is important to give thanks for the things God has done for you.
One day when I was in college, I was driving home on a major interstate in downtown Dallas. Suddenly, the car to my left veered into my lane. I had to swerve to miss him, but then I swerved to get back into my lane. I overcorrected and ended up turning completely around, crossing four lanes of speeding traffic without being touched!
When my car finally stopped, I was facing the wrong direction in the left lane with a big truck headed my way. I truly have no idea how this truck stopped, other than the hand of God! But it did about thirty feet from hitting my car. The driver then got out and blocked traffic for me, allowing me to turn around and get moving in the right direction.
I took the next exit and found a place to park. As you can imagine, my heart was racing, and I just needed to calm down for a few minutes. You better believe that I was thanking God for helping me through that!!
This is simply one example when God helped me through something, miraculously saving my life. But there were many other times when I asked God for something – healing for myself, healing for my family, or needing direction in a circumstance… and He didn’t provide an answer or a miracle. During those times, it’s important to remember to give thanks to God.
It blesses God when we give thanks and worship Him in ALL circumstances – even in the times where we don’t get the answer from Him that we want. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego told King Nebuchadnezzar that God could deliver them from the burning furnace, but “even if He doesn’t,” they would still not bow down and worship the golden statue. (Daniel 3:16-18)
There have been times in my life when I’ve had to lean into those words – “even if He doesn’t”… I can honestly say that in my life, every time I walked through difficult times, He has always been faithful to bring me out of those circumstances.
Even now, my wife and I are believing God for a child. And we feel like He has given us this desire. We have desired a child since we were married almost eight years ago. We have gone down the long road of fertility treatments and have had four miscarriages. However, when we started to pray that God would change the desires of our hearts to His desires for us (that’s a whole other blog in and of itself), things changed for us. We began to desire adopting a child.
It has been a long road, but we have tried our best to be thankful in every part. Even the tough times. Because we know that God is still faithful. I’ve seen God bring the right people to us at exactly the right times to help us. We are so very thankful to God and our family and friends for helping walk through this with us. And we are thankful for what God still has for in store for my wife, Amber, and me!
I often hear people say that they are “seeking the will of God.” Well, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Paul tells the church in this book that giving thanks in ALL circumstances IS God’s will for us. God has a direction for you to go and has something in store for your life. But it is also God’s will for us to give thanks in every circumstance we walk through. If we can do that, then we will not only be able to come into the courts of praise before the Lord, but we will also be able to see God move in ways that we may not have seen before.
As we come into this time of thanksgiving and as you go to visit and spend time with family, remember where thanksgiving came from. Thanksgiving is so closely related to worshiping God. And remember to give thanks to God in all the circumstances that you find yourself in now!