Be Ye Thankful
There are many places throughout the Bible where we are exhorted to be thankful to God for all He has done for us. Even if it seems like times are bad, and we appear to be in the midst of problems, if we are thankful, it is all much easier to bear. Perhaps it is like the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One sees the glass of water as half full, the other as half empty. The thankful person is happy to have the half full glass of water. What does God do for us that we should be thankful? Even in the Old Testament there are records of giving thanks.
II Samuel 22: 47 - 50 -- The Lord liveth; and blessed be† my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. It is† God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
God protects us from violence. When we are in fellowship, and following the Word, God can protect us from every evil that may try to come at us. For this we should truly be thankful!
I Chronicles 16: 34 -- O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is† good; for his mercy endureth† for ever.
God is good, and He is merciful towards us. This means that He withholds merited judgement. For this too, we are thankful.
Psalm 92: 1 - 5 -- It is a good thing† to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! and† thy thoughts are very deep.
This psalm tells us that it is a good thing to give thanks to God, and to praise His name. He has made us glad because of what He has done for us, and for ALL His great works.
Psalm 100: 4, 5 -- Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and† into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and† bless his name. For the Lord is† good; his mercy is† everlasting; and his truth endureth† to all generations.
In the Old Testament, the believers were constantly reminded to give thanks to God for being good, merciful, and faithful. God hasn't changed, and we should thank Him for the same things in this age. In the Church epistles, there are other things mentioned for which we should be thankful.
Romans 1: 8 -- First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Romans 16: 4 -- Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Colossians 1: 3 -- We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
These three verses show how Paul was thankful for his fellow believers. He was thankful that they were faithful to the Word. He was thankful that they put their own lives on the line to help him move the Word. Finally, Paul showed his thankfulness by praying for other believers. Instead of thinking our 'old man' thoughts, we are exhorted to be thankful:
Ephesians 5: 4 -- Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Thankfulness can also help prevent anxiety. If you are being thankful for what God has done for you, how can you worry?
Philippians 4: 6 -- Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
We are heirs of God, and that should make us thankful. He has saved us from the power of the adversary if we stay in fellowship, and given us eternal life!
Colossians 1: 12 -- Giving thanks unto the Father, which [who] hath made us meet [adequate] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us† into the kingdom [by the work] of his dear Son.
The book of Colossians has many verses about giving thanks:
Colossians 2: 6, 7 -- As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so† walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
According to verse 6, we are to walk like Christ. We are born again (rooted) and we renew our minds (built up) to be established in the faith. AND, we are to ABOUND in giving thanks.
Colossians 3: 15 -- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3: 17 -- And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do† all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
We are to be thankful for everything in our life, whatever we DO, whatever we talk about.
Colossians 4: 2 -- Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Continue means to be steadfast in prayer, and we are to be watchful or awake, and give thanks.
Ephesians 5: 20 -- Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Once again, give thanks to God for all things, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Finally, I Thessalonians sums it up very nicely. The last chapter lists a number of things that believers should do on a daily basis:
I Thessalonians 5: 15 - 18 -- See that none render evil for evil unto any man;† but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.† Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
First, we do not try to overcome evil with evil. This is also mentioned in Romans.
Romans 12: 21 -- Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Second, we are told to rejoice evermore, or always be joyful. This is also mentioned in Philippians.
Philippians 4: 4 -- Rejoice in the Lord alway: and† again I say, Rejoice.
Third, pray continually. We should pray for others, and for situations, throughout the day which is mentioned in I Thessalonians 5: 17 above and many other places in the Church Epistles.
Finally, in everything give thanks. No matter what happens, we are to be thankful, because it is the Will of God. Think about it. No matter how bad things may seem, you always have something for which you can be thankful. Being thankful keeps your mind off of any mental tribulation and on the positives, blessings and benefits of God. Your personal adversary will go out of his way to pressure you if you are standing on Godís Word. God says we should not only be able to handle it, BUT WE SHOULD REJOICE because we must be doing something right! So count your blessings and always remember: YOU CANNOT BE NEGATIVE WHEN YOU ARE THANKFUL. Being thankful puts your mind at rest. This is another area where we can work on renewing our mind. There is a lot to remember. Take one thing at a time and simply do your best. Surely, God will help you.
I Thessalonians 5: 18 -- In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.