Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Thankfulness is one of the evidences that a Christian is indeed “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Paul’s letter to the Ephesians lists the characteristics of being filled with the Spirit, demonstrated when believers are thankful for everything that happens in their lives.
Believers should be thankful. But there’s more—not only for everything, but in everything, we should give thanks to God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
This command is easy to obey when the living is easy, though we might easily forget to do so. But when the Lord is allowing us to hurt for a while, thanksgiving becomes hard. It is hard while we are experiencing the difficulty with no relief in sight, and it is often just as hard when it has passed. The two small prepositions “in” and “for” are different in New Testament Greek as well as in modern English, and God really wants us to learn how to thank Him both during and after the hard experience.
Why? Because He has allowed the hardship for a good purpose!
The apostle James urges us to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [various testings]; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). Paul says that we can even “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Patience and real love will come to characterize a habitually thankful Christian.
Adapted from Dr. Morris’ article “Thanks for Everything” in the Winter 2004 Days of Praise.
* Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, H. M. 2012.Thanks for Everything. Acts & Facts. 41 (11): 22.