"In Everything Give Thanks!"    

I Thessalonians  5:18


     The Spirit filled life is essentially a life of thanksgiving, arising from a believing, submissive, grateful heart (Eph. 5:18-21). Where there is grace in the heart there is gratitude toward God; and that gratitude is expressed in our lives. If I am filled with bitterness and cannot find peace, contentment and satisfaction in the goodness of God, it is because I have never truly experienced the grace of God in Christ. Here are three gracious exhortations given by the Spirit of God to every believer. May he who gave them give us grace to obey them.

     "REJOICE EVERMORE!" Regardless of our present, temporary circumstances, we have great reason to rejoice. God is our Father. Christ is our Redeemer. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Grace is our lot. Eternal life is our possession. Heaven is our home. We are justified, forgiven, sanctified, accepted and kept by our God. No weapon formed against us can prosper. No enemy can harm us. No good thing shall be withheld from us. Our God will never forsake us! Let us therefore rejoice in the Lord!

     "PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!" That simply means, "Trust God." Live constantly in the awareness of God's providence and presence. Cast all your care upon him. He cares for you! Come continually to the throne of grace. There you will obtain the mercy and grace to help you in time of need.

     "IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!" In good times and bad, in prosperity and adversity, in health and sickness, in joy and sorrow, in all things and for all things, give thanks to God, knowing that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose." Faith looks beyond the appearance of things to the promise of God and gives thanks.

     Here is the reason for these exhortations - "FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS CONCERNING YOU!" It is the will of God that we "rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing," and "in everything give thanks." More than that, everything that comes to pass in your life is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. You will never experience anything that is not according to your heavenly Father's will, and his will toward you in Christ is always good.



Don Fortner