On one occasion Jesus healed ten men who had leprosy, but only one of them returned to give him thanks? (Read about it in Luke 17:12-18.) Isn’t that typical of us as humans? It seems like most times thankfulness doesn’t come natural!
“Let us be thankful” (Heb 12:28).
The apostle Paul exhorted the Thessalonians, and each one of his readers through the centuries, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess 5:18).
The Word of God is full of exhortations to give thanks. Let me highlight a few.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When Nehemiah had restored and built the walls around Jerusalem and the people were getting ready to dedicate the walls and offer their sacrifices to God, guess what Nehemiah did? He assigned two large choirs to give thanks! One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, and the other one proceeded in the opposite direction. “The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God… And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.” (See Nehemiah 12:27-43.)
Thankfulness is one of the key ingredients for happy and successful Christian Living. It’s not an option; it’s a command. We are to give thanks in all circumstances, because it is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes we have to give thanks through tears. Just do it! The circumstances might not change, but you will change, and you will be able to handle your circumstances with a happy heart. You might be smiling through tears. They will be happy, thankful tears.
I’m not talking into thin air. I’ve got tears in my eyes. Today my pain is so excruciating it made me cry. But there is always a bright side. I still have my feet and my hands that hurt so bad. So, you see there is always room for thankfulness. Some people don’t have feet! Some don’t have hands!
“But thanks be to God,
who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance
of the knowledge of him.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
“But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57