“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1Thess. 5:18 KJV
The scripture today is part of the advice of the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica. In that advise, he made them realise that it is the will of God in Jesus Christ for them to give thanks in all situations. One begins to wonder why God wants human beings to give thanks always. It is definitely not because God is reduced in any way nor is His influence over creation affected by any standard if man does not give thanks. The Bible says that aside from man, several other creatures are giving thanks without God asking them to do so and by so doing they are continuously declaring the glory of God – Ps. 19:1-4.
It cannot also mean that he needs all those thanksgiving items that are brought in brought during such activities as he is not hungry and even if he was, he does not have to wait for all those item since everything belongs to the Lord including all those items – Ps. 24:1; 50:7-15. So why will God desire that man give thanks to him in all situations?
God’s expectation of man giving thanks always will mean that whether the event is seen as positive or negative He expects to be acknowledged and appreciated. For those events seen by men as positive, giving thanks seems very easy and straight forward even though the quality of the thanks is often in question. The challenge comes mostly during those events humanly classified as negative. During such events the individual is already emotional deflated and completely downcast. The person is sometimes already a psychological wreck and the last thing on such minds is to appreciate God. Anyone suggesting that at this point will also need to be careful as such suggestion could meet with a reaction that will cause for regret.
God however does not see things from the way men see it – Is. 55:8-9. God sees the end from the beginning (Is. 46:10) while man sees only the present as even the past is soon forgotten. The future is completely out of man’s view and so cannot see what God is doing – 1Sam. 16:7. God however expects man to trust Him that He (God) has good plans for him (man) at all times as long as the individual remains in Christ Jesus – Jer. 29:11. This is the same God that demonstrated His love for man by sacrificing His only son to save man from both physical and spiritual death – Jn. 3:16. One can only imagine the level of disappointment of God with man (Gen. 6:6-9) when man cannot trust Him (God) with little things like Him being very capable of blessing with earthly possessions (Eph. 3:20) so much so that they are willing to exchange Him for those temporal possessions.
Man seems to have forgotten that coming into this world was not a personal decision but the singular decision of God (Gen. 1:26) and He did that for a purpose. The problem is with man getting into this world and thinking he/she can re-design God’s purpose for his/her life – Jer. 1:5; Gal. 1:15.
Operating outside the Will of God, as attractive as it may be is the major reason why man sees some events as negative. Although the lure towards worldly acquisitions is not right, it is quite understandable after all Jesus Christ himself also found himself in similar dilemma. Having lived in this world for more than thirty years, the thought of having to leave especially in the manner he was destined to was not acceptable. He as well as his disciples began to see it as very negative event that should be avoided (Mk. 8:31-33) but he quickly rediscovered himself and gave in to destiny – Matt. 26:39. The result was a huge promotion for not only him but something that became of benefit to more people than he could imagine – Phil. 2:8. Even for him, he was rewarded with a glory far greater than what he may have thought he was losing by following destiny path – Heb. 10:12-14.
The Apostle Paul wants us to take a cue from this knowing fully well that the result of total submission to the Will of God gives us a glory greater than what we may be sacrificing by remaining faithful to the plan of God for our lives. Once we take this position we will not need to be preached to again about what to do with regards to events in our lives as Christians. All we need to do is to ensure that our relationship with God through Christ remains intact.
Your not thanking God in that situation is a confirmation of your lack of trust and complete disrespect for God and He feels let down by you. When you gave your life to Him, it was in total submission trusting Him to do the best with it. You can only be sad if you are no longer with Him through Christ. When you accept His plan for your life by thanking Him in all situations, you bring joy to Him and that should be your strength to be able to overcome whatever the event may be – Neh. 8:10.
Your thanking Him in all events means you trust Him and you can be sure He will straighten your path – Prov. 3:5-6. Do not wait to see what God is doing before you thank Him, that is not faith (Heb. 11:1: 2Cor. 5:7) and a faithless person cannot receive any thing from God – Jms. 1:6-7; Rom. 14:23. You cannot be his child in Jesus if you do not trust Him. May God give us the ability to trust Him so we can thank Him in all situations and there by achieve destiny in Jesus name. Amen.