October 10, 2021
Practicing Thanksgiving In All Circumstances | 1 Thessalonians 5:18
PRACTICING THANKSGIVING IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES – Luke 17: 11-19
On October 10, 2021, Pastor Eric reminded us to give thanks to God at all times and regardless of our circumstances.
Our Christian faith teaches us that we have much to be thankful for. Believers and unbelievers alike know how to express gratitude to the Lord under favourable circumstances, but do we also know how to do so in times of adversity?
Read Luke 17:11-19
Back in the day, anyone who contracted leprosy, a highly contagious disease, was considered impure physically and spiritually. Lepers were therefore shunned by society and had no alternative but to live in isolation and fend for themselves. In this passage, we learn about ten men who had leprosy and were healed by Jesus. However, only one of them returned to thank Him. Similarly, the Lord blesses us every day. When we were still sinners, He forgave us. He also helped us in times of adversity and healed our illnesses. Do we remember to thank Jesus for His blessings?
Read Psalm 103:2 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In Psalm 103:2, David expresses gratitude for God’s assistance in times of time of need and for the well-being of His people. How do we cultivate gratitude when we are confronted with difficulties or when things do not go the way we anticipated? The Scriptures tell us that we are to give thanks irrespective of our circumstances, for it is God’s will for us. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminds us of this. The Bible does not tell us to be thankful for all circumstances. Rather, it instructs us to be thankful in all circumstances. There is a significant difference between the two. Our circumstances are not completely hopeless, regardless of how difficult they may be. We can always find reasons to thank the Lord and we should not hesitate to do so.
We can express our gratitude to the Lord in three ways:
A, We can say it.
Read Luke 17:15-16
In this passage, one of the lepers, a Samaritan, who was healed by Jesus, returned to thank Him, praising God in a loud voice. One of the ways we can show our thankfulness is to do as this Samaritan did. He declared it.
In light of our failure to meet God’s standards, we should be held accountable for our own sins, but Jesus willingly sacrificed his life in our stead. If we are unsure what to thank God for, we can begin by thanking Him for our salvation. We can also express our gratitude to the Lord for His forgiveness, His grace and His mercy toward us.
B, We can sing it.
Read Psalm 95:2 and Psalm 28:7
In Psalm 95:2, the psalmist invites us to approach God with thankfulness and to worship Him joyfully. In other words, we are to acknowledge the kingship of Christ and demonstrate our gratitude by singing and shouting praises to Him. According to Psalm 28:7, although David was in the midst of tremendous distress, he refused to give up on God and trusted Him for protection. Consequently, he was rewarded.
Whenever we are faced with difficulties that appear insurmountable, we should follow David’s example. Praise brings great pleasure to God. The praises we offer are not dependent upon our circumstances, but rather on God Himself.
C, We can show it.
Read Luke 7:36-50
A woman who was to be stoned to death for her sinfulness was granted mercy by Jesus. Consequently, when she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought a jar of very expensive perfume and stood behind Jesus. Taking the jar, she poured it over Him as a gesture of gratitude.
Read Romans 12:2
The Bible tells us that whatever God asks us to do is for our good. Many of the things God requires of us are for our protection and to guard our hearts against bitterness. We must not allow bad circumstances to affect us adversely. Having a bitter heart will negatively affect our motivation, our love, our compassion, and our outlook on life. Consequently, our perception of people will soon be tainted by that bitterness. Therefore, no matter what circumstances we face, if we are not thankful for all of them and if we allow our circumstances to define us, our hardships will cripple us. The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It is thus essential that we constantly strengthen our faith in order to remain strong in the Lord. God rewards those who are faithful and persevere to the end. Storms are not eternal, but God’s Word is. Difficulties will not last forever, but God’s love does.
Read Psalm 107:1
Our gratitude should be directed toward the Lord, who loves us. Since He is God All-Mighty, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He knows our circumstances better than we do. It is imperative that we maintain an attitude of gratitude regardless of our circumstances.
When and under what circumstances do you practice thanksgiving?
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