October 14 I Monday
1 Thessalonians 2
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
Thanksgiving is the healthiest of all human emotions. It is known to be a gateway to a wonderful freedom that produces more positive energy than any other attitude in life. Thanksgiving is biblical and celebrates the fact that the seasons work every year to provide enough harvest for our daily food. Deuteronomy 16:15 says, “For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”
There are three kinds of thanksgiving we can express to God. Firstly, in natural thanksgiving, we thank God for everyday comforts that are so often taken for granted: the roof over our heads, the clothes we wear and even our morning coffee. We need to thank God for the countless little things, never lacking for a moment in the knowledge that all we have is God-given. Secondly, in unnatural thanksgiving, we thank God in troubling situations, such as a failing marriage, a lost job, illness or tragedy. It is not thanking Him for those situations, but in turning them over to God, we thank Him for His presence and sufficiency in them. God is never outwitted by anything that threatens us and our security lies in Him, not our situations. In his book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning says, “The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratitude.” Thirdly, in supernatural thanksgiving, we give thanks when there is that deep inner conviction that God, to whom we entrust ourselves in every situation, is working out something good. On the night of Christ’s arrest––knowing His death was imminent––He gave thanks before distributing the bread and wine. Christ gave Himself over to those who were going to kill Him, because He had put His trust in the purposes of God.
Paul writes, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). If we give thanks in all circumstances, what is exempt from that? What does not fit into all circumstances? And how can we grumble in our thankfulness? In everything, when giving thanks to the Lord for His presence, provision and purpose, we discover within our hearts a sanctuary of peace found only in Christ Jesus.
We will experience a God who is not out there, distant or idle, but a God who is present and active within us. While living in a real world with all its traumas and brokenness, we place our trust wholly in God. The language of the Christian faith is not “please,” but “thank you.” It is gratitude in all situations that blesses other people, pleases God and makes us a much happier person.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for all the wonderful blessings I have received. Most of all, thank You for Your presence in my life. You are my rock and all I need.