Thank GOD for everything (Express Gratitude to the Lord in Good and Bad Times)
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of GOD in Christ Jesus for you.” (ESV)
“And we know that for those who love GOD all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (ESV)
We still live in a Patriarchal society wherein the father is the head of the family. Our mothers maybe the heart and soul of our home, but there is no denying that the father is the foundation to which the household stands upon! Being the head of the family, we associate them to being the disciplinarian, the one with the finally say in all the decisions inside the household, and more often than not, the breadwinner. They often go at great lengths (work OT, go overseas) so that we can have not only the things we need but what we want as well. Sadly, some of them are under appreciated, misinterpreted or worst, disrespected. Their time away from their family is the lifetime burden that they have bear, if it means to provide well for their family. Last Sunday was Father’s day, their day of recognition. For those of us who are blessed to still have them, did you say thanks? How did you express your gratitude to your dad?
If our dads deserve the recognition, how much more deserving it is to express our gratitude to our heavenly Father who’s the provider and creator of all things! According to the Scriptures, there are a number of reasons to thank God, which maybe because of the following: Jesus (John 3:16-17), Free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8), Works and Deeds (Psalm 75:1), Help for us (Romans 6:17), Repentance (Luke 5:32). However, I believe that you don’t need a reason to thank GOD. The moment you open your eyes in the morning, you thank GOD for the gift of an extended life because you get another chance to walk with the Lord, to know Him. You thank GOD as well for the good night’s rest, the safe travel to and from work, the food which nourished you, the blessing of good health, the loving family that you have. Be grateful as well if you have a job (even though you despise your boss and the pressure/stress that comes along), and that you’re not part of the unemployed statistics, so that you have a means to provide for your needs. Give thanks to the Lord if you happen to meet a person who’s become a positive influence to you because He used him/her to make you a better person. That’s why Paul reminded us to thank the Lord in all circumstances, because you don’t have to wait for a miracle or experience a life-changing situation. Thanksgiving to GOD is not an option, it’s a command that we should obey.
We are to be thankful not only in our positive but in our negative experiences as well; that is in sickness, poverty, grief, hatred to us, sufferings. These unfortunate things happen for a reason and we can never fathom GOD’s purpose. Romans 8:28 assures us that it is for a good reason that GOD allow these things to happen to us. Suffering is a wake-up call. It is GOD’s way of stepping on the brake pedal, hitting on the Stop button so that you can change course, and proceed with life’s journey in the right direction! Suffering is one of life’s greatest teacher. In Romans 5:3-4, Paul tells us to rejoice in suffering for it results to positive attributes! Moreover, we should see suffering as a strengthening of our faith and bond in the Lord because only through life’s adversities can we fully accept that we are weak, defenseless, and the heavenly Father is the only foundation that we can stand upon!
How do we give thanks to GOD? We express our gratitude to the Lord in the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We go to the Father not in our own name and merit, but always in the name and merit of Jesus because he is the one and only way to the Father (John 14:6). When GOD gazes upon us, He only looks at Jesus in us!. Thus we are so blessed to be Christians and to have Christ in our hearts! Since the blessings of God the Father come to us through the Lord Jesus, so our thanksgiving must go through Jesus to reach our heavenly Father!
There’s never a proper time to express gratitude to GOD. You just thank Him for everything!
Father GOD, please forgive me for the many times I have neglected and ignored to appreciate your blessings! I was so preoccupied of myself, of this world, and so I failed to express my sincerest gratitude for all that You have provided and done for me. Thank you for everything that I have, for what I am right now! Thank you for your blessings both in good and bad times. Lord, continuously enlighten me so that I may understand and appreciate all that you have given me. Give me the wisdom and knowledge to see the good in life’s biggest trials that may come my way, and how I may use it to springboard my connection to You. Thank you for giving us Jesus, our role model of thanksgiving and gratitude to You. I pray, in the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN!