Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things (Psalm 107:8-9, ESV).
The month of November is typically a time for reflecting on the things for which we are most thankful. You and I could easily create a list of the things falling under this category, and if we were to compare our lists, we may find them to be quite similar in their sentiments of thankfulness.
Though this time of year does bring us pause to express gratitude for the many blessings God has graciously given us, we are to continue this level of gratitude and thanksgiving every day and in every season of our lives. Our thanksgiving never ends!
Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Whether the world considers something worthy of thanks to God is not of consequence. God is always worthy of praise and thanksgiving. There is no end to the reasons for this posture before the Lord. This includes things, which do not make the list deemed deserving of thanks.
Elisabeth Elliott once said, “For one who has made thanksgiving the habit of his life, the morning prayer will be, ‘Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to you?’” It puts things in a different perspective when you think about it in this way.
Part of offering thanks back to the Lord comes in the least expected times of life. Have you ever thought about thanking God for the difficulties in life? I know it does not cross my mind to thank Him for setbacks, hardships, and areas of life recognized as suffering.
I am more apt to think of things bringing ease and joy to my life when thanking God than in the moments of inconvenience, frustration, and pain. However, God’s steadfast love and goodness are found in every area of our lives. The Bible instructs us to be thankful and to express that thankfulness unto the Lord.
In 1 Thessalonians 5, the Apostle Paul gives the church at Thessalonica some final instructions both for their personal lives and in their conduct within the church. He reminds them to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances.
Joy is an integral mark of the Christian life. Romans 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Paul echoes the same instructions to believers in Rome in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Our joy is found in our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Giving thanks in all circumstances is another mark of the Christian life. This contrasts with those who are unbelievers. Paul speaks of those who do not believe in God, stating that though they knew God, they did not honor Him or give thanks to Him (Romans 1:21).
However, as believers in Christ, we are reminded consistently both in the Old Testament and New Testament to give thanks to God. The Book of Psalms is filled with instructions to give thanks to God.
Psalm 7:17 says, “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Several psalms remind us of God’s steadfast love, and we are to thank Him for His love and goodness (Psalm 106:1-2; 107:1).
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1-3).
How Thanksgiving Is All Year-Round
In the New Testament, we find the marks of the Christian life in thanksgiving in Ephesians 5:4, where Paul reminds believers not to participate in foolish talk or coarse joking but rather to be thankful to God.
In Colossians, we glean from Paul’s instructions to believers in Colossae as they are encouraged to be thankful to God while strengthened in their faith in Christ (Colossians 2:7). We thank God above all things for saving us and redeeming us.
This brings us great joy and comfort when thinking upon what our Lord and Savior has done for us, and this alone is enough to thank God daily.
I know I have taken thanksgiving for granted many times in remembering what Christ has done for me and remembering from what I have been saved. When we think upon this, we are reminded of His steadfast love and mercy.
Not only are we to give God thanks but we are to thank Him in all circumstances as I stated earlier. As children of light, we are to “always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Everything means everything. We are not to complain or to be without gratitude.
This is honestly easier said than done, isn’t it? How can we thank Him when our physical bodies suffer? How can we thank Him when turmoil and the cares of this world are real and heavy? We thank Him in all circumstances because we have a living hope through Jesus Christ.
We thank Him because He is worthy regardless of what temporal things we may face in this world. We thank Him because, in spite of suffering and sin all around us, God has not changed in His steadfast love, grace, and mercy.
The situations change, but He does not change. Scripture instructs us in the way we should walk, and continual thanksgiving to the Lord is along the way.
Unlike the world, we do not deny gratitude based upon personal favorable conditions. We have done nothing to merit His loving favor, and we understand this.
Thanksgiving overflows from the lips of those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior even in times of sorrow and loss because there is gain and hope in the midst of those ashes.
Why Does This Matter?
Giving thanks in moments of prayer keeps our focus on Christ. In sorrow, we thank God. In celebration, we thank God. In the mundane, we thank God. In difficulty, we thank God. There is no end to this thankfulness.
It extends beyond the month of November. Look for ways to thank Him continually and daily. They will not be hard to find, and the things, which seem the most difficult to rejoice and give thanks for maybe the very things to conform you to the image of Christ.
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Dawn Hill is a Christian blogger known as The Lovesick Scribe and the host of The Lovesick Scribe Podcast. She is passionate about sharing the truth and pointing others back to Jesus Christ through the written Word as the standard of authority for Christian living and instruction while being led by the Holy Spirit into maturity. She is the author of NonProphet Woke: The Reformation of a Modern-Day Disciple. She is a wife to Nicholas and a mother to Anabel and Ephraim. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.