Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to Give Thanks in Everything

In everything give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
The Bible tells us to give thanks in everything. It is easy enough to give thanks when times are good and things are going well, although we often neglect to do so. But how are we supposed to give thanks when times are hard and nothing seems to be going right?

First, notice that we are to give thanks in everything, not necessarily for everything. Bad things happen; we do not have to give thanks for them, but we can give thanks in the midst of them, knowing that God is in still on His throne, and that He is much greater than any problem that could ever come our way. Giving thanks to God is a very effective way to begin relating to His solution instead of focusing on the problem. Paul expands on this in his letter to the Philippians:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Bad things happen, but we do not have to be full of worry and anxiety about them. We can go to God in prayer. To some, that may seem to be nothing more than acquiescing to or retreating from the problem. But it is actually addressing the problem head on by taking it to God, the One who can do something about it.

Supplication is prayer that presents a definite need to be met by a definite provision. Problems require solutions; supplication goes after the solution. Make your requests known to God. Don’t be vague; ask with specificity for whatever is needed. Wrap it all up in thanksgiving, knowing that God hears, that He cares and that He will answer you and take care of the situation.

Paul adds this, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When you give thanks in everything, you will not be anxious, but filled with the peace of God.

Give thanks to God in everything, even the bad things, for your prayers and thanksgiving will bring the power, provision and peace of God to bear. When the solution appears, you will be thanking Him for the opportunity of seeing His glory displayed on your behalf.