The Lord Jesus expressed disappointment at the fact that of the ten lepers that He healed on one occasion, only one returned to express gratitude.
God expects gratitude from us for all that we receive from Him. The average believer is more committed to asking for things from the Lord and not to giving thanks. This ought not to be so. As we look at the matter of thanksgiving as a part of the prayer life of the normal believer, let us repent of the ingratitude of our former lives and seek to be cleansed for such a sin.
EXHORTATION TO THANKSGIVING
“O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the people!” (1 Chronicles 16:8) “It is good to give thanks to the Lord” (Psalms 92:1). “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving: let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! For God is a great God and a great King above all gods” (Psalms 95:2-3). “O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the people” (Psalms 105:1). “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, and always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father” (Ephesians 5:19-20). “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is obvious then that the Word of God calls us to give thanks to God in the name of Christ FOR EVERYTHING, IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, ALWAYS, FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR US. We repeat, God’s will for the redeemed is that they should give thanks to God in the name of Jesus ALWAYS, FOR EVERYTHING, IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. If we do not so give thanks, we fail in fulfilling God’s will. It is not for us humans to decide whether thanks are to be given to God in a particular circumstance or not. God has taken that right from us and has decreed that thanks be given to Him in EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE AND ALWAYS. It may look horrible. We may not be able to see God in it. We may be baffled, but one thing we must do, we must give thanks, at least out of obedience. Even if the circumstance is a work of the Enemy, let us remember that he is not God. God permitted him to so act, and God will use that which looks hopeless to work out something wonderful for His glory and our conformity to the image of His dear Son. The betrayal by Judas was horrible, but God used it to work out our salvation. The selling off of Joseph by his brethren was terrible, but God used it to preserve many lives. The attitude of Potiphar’s wife was exceedingly sinful, but God used it to bring Joseph to premiership in Egypt. I repeat, God is working out His wondrous purposes. Nothing is outside His control. There is no circumstance that He cannot and will not turn into the good of those who love Him. In order that God should turn all circumstances for the welfare of
His children and the building up of His Kingdom, He demands the co-operation of His blood-bought children. He will temporarily allow some circumstance untransformed into good if He does not have our co-operation. This co-operation is given when we thank Him. Thanksgiving is another special ingredient that speeds the train of God’s will on its journeys. May we be determined to co-operate. The devil will attack thanksgiving with full force. However, he is impotent against believers who know their grounds and who maintain them by praise and thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was given in scripture for some situations. We shall look at some of these.