Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

Thankful in All Things

by Jeremy Shaffer

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it says, “give thanks in all circumstances...” This reminder from Paul teaches us that it is God’s will that we have a spirit of gratitude.Gratitude is easy when life is going our way, but when life takes a turn towards tragedy, gratitude isn’t on our minds. I suspect that gratitude wasn’t the first thing that came to your mind when a viral pandemic swept through the world and has killed more than 4.5 million people globally. Yet, Scripture tells us to give thanks in all things. When terrorists bombed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon within hours of each other on the day of September 11, I don’t think gratitude was on the mind of any American. Yet, Scripture says to give thanks in all things. At around 8 am on the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese plunged America into the second world war; I suspect that gratitude was not on the minds of those who lost their loved ones on that tragic day. Yet, Scripture tells us to give thanks in all things.  What about the millions of Jews who were killed during the holocaust? Yet, Scripture says to give thanks in all things.  What about the future? The way this world is going in this present generation, the way that sin has a grip on this cursed earth, the lifetimes of your children and their children are going to experience tragedies as well. Anyone who tells you that the world is getting better simply does not understand the sinful nature of man.

Have I made you depressed yet? Take courage and remember this, God knew (and knows) all of what sin would do to the world, and He still decided to send his Son into the world and to redeem the world. Let that sink in for a moment. We naturally show gratitude after some event or circumstance that was beneficial to us, but gratitude is much more than that; it must be an intentional attitude and it must be cultivated daily. I’ve already mentioned Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 about giving thanks, but notice what the rest of the verse says… “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Sometimes we often make God’s will to be this mystical or out-of-reach idea that we are supposed to live out. We might spend hours thinking and seeking God’s will for our lives, but Paul’s words are very clear in this passage. Paul says that giving thanks is always part of God’s will for your life. In other words, God wants an attitude of gratitude to be the perfume or cologne you put on each day. Unfortunately, to put it bluntly, some Christians have a stench about them, they reek of anger, envy, and jealousy. These drive others from Christ, but a thankful believer has a different aroma. It’s an aroma that has a way of attracting others to the Savior.  

What can you be thankful for? The list on the right will help you get started...

... Now it’s your turn. Follow the instructions of Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Surely God has done some wonderful things in your life; now is the best time to create a written record of those wonderful deeds!

  • In a world of sin, I am thankful for God’s plan of salvation. (Jn.3:16)
  • In a world of uncertainty, I am thankful for the Anchor of my soul. (Heb.6:19)
  • In a world of chaos, I am thankful that God is in control of all things. (Dan.5:21)
  • In a world of suffering, I am thankful for a Savior who knows my pain. (Heb.4:15)
  • In a world of evil, I am thankful that God’s love endures forever. (Psa.118:1)
  • In a world of fear, I am thankful that God never leaves us alone. (Heb.13:5)
  • In a world of greed, I am thankful for God’s provision of my needs. (Phil.4:19)
  • In a world of noise, I am thankful that God hears my prayers. (Phil.4:6)
  • In a world of despair, I am thankful for God who gives me hope. (Rom.15:13)
  • In a world of hate, I am thankful for the love of God. (1 Jn.4:16)
  • In a world that is lost, I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus. (2 Pet.3:9)
  • In a world of false promises, I am thankful that God always keeps His. (Deut.7:9)
  • In a world of danger, I am thankful that God protects me. (2 Ths.3:3)
  • In a world of extravagance, I am thankful for God’s perfect gifts. (Jas.1:17)
  • In a world of exhaustion, I am thankful that God restores my soul. (Psa.23:3)
  • In a world of folly, I am thankful for a God who grants me wisdom. (Eph.1:17)
  • In a world of religions, I am thankful to serve the One True God. (Jn.17:3)
  • In a world of idols, I am thankful for the perfect example of Jesus. (Jn.13:15)
  • In a world of terror, I am thankful for the Armor of God. (Eph. 6:11)
  • In a world that has lost its way, I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Jn.16:13)
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