...When times are tough
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
At times, these words are tough to hear and even tougher to obey. For help, we look to Jesus.
Near the end of his life in Matthew 26, Jesus breaks bread with his disciples and gives thanks. Was he simply giving thanks for his meal like we’ve all done time and time again?
Not at all. He was thanking God for what was about to happen to him. His body to be broken; his Father’s wrath to be endured; God's plan to save the world. The practice of thanksgiving in this passage was not based on Christ’s present circumstances, but “for the joy that was set before him.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Because we follow Jesus, we share in the same joy and for that we can (always) give thanks.
...In good times
What’s amazing about Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 26 is his submission to the Father’s plan even though it means a great amount of strife entering his life. In this passage, Jesus teaches us a lesson in humility.
As Christians, we are called to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6) For Christ this meant the cross. But what about us?
Psalm 69 provides a practical answer for this time of year.
"I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30)
No matter the cause of good things in your life, give thanks to God! Practice thanksgiving for accomplishments, gifts, and people in your life and make it known that it was not you who provided these good things. Your humility magnifies God and gives Him glory.
Any thoughts on giving thanks in the good times or bad? Please comment below. You never know who you may be encouraging.