Giving Thanks For All Things

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Ephesians 5:19-20

This is the week in which we as Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  For some, it’s simply a time to eat too much food, watch football and maybe enjoy being with family.  For Christians, it should hold a higher meaning.  A Christian should be thankful all the time, not just once a year on a special day.  And a Christian has so much more for which to be thankful than anyone else.  This week, I have decided to do a few posts on the matter of thanksgiving and thankfulness.  I hope that they will be a help and an encouragement to you.

This passage from Ephesians begins with the familiar exhortation to be “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord..”  If we will do those things, we should have very little problems fulfilling the next verse: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

When you think about it, it really is sometimes a difficult thing to give thanks to the Lord “always for all things.”  There are things that I do not understand.  I am supposed to give thanks to the Lord for them.  There are things that I do not like.  I am supposed to give thanks to the Lord for them.  It’s easy to thank the Lord for all the “good” things that He has done for us.  If we are healthy, it is easy to thank Him for that.  If we are doing well financially, it is easy to thank Him for His provision.  But it becomes more difficult (but possibly even more important) to thank Him during our trials and problems. 

One thing that we need to remember when we are trying to thank Him “always for all things” is that “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28  If we will believe that, we will find it a little easier to thank Him for those things that we may not understand.

Giving thanks “always for all things” might be a difficult assignment, but it is one that we have been given by the Lord Himself!

12 responses to this post.

  1. This is a great post. He does work all things for the good. I think singing hymns really does help, too. They remind us of how wonderful the Lord and His attributes are, and remind us of His love and that He takes care of us. I have a small collection of hymn books from different places. I like to thumb through them sometimes when I am having my quiet time. 🙂

    For over 20 years my husband and I have sang together in church. About two years ago we were lead to make a move. We have attended some places, but still haven’t found a new church home yet. I hope when we do we will be able to sing again. In the mean time our church specials are sung at home and in the car. I would appreciate it if you would remember my family in prayer.

    Reply

    • I love hymns, too. For so many years, I would just sing them without really stopping to think about the words and the truth they contained. But when you start thinking about the words, there is some great truth and comfort and help in them.

      I will pray for your family. Keep singing! 🙂

      Reply

  2. Thank you Ben

    I wrote earlier along similar lines http://tonirand.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/always-continually-in-all-circumstances/

    I didn’t feel like giving thanks. I don’t always feel like giving thanks … things is, it’s not an option. As you so rightly put it, “Giving thanks “always for all things” might be a difficult assignment, but it is one that we have been given by the Lord Himself!

    Oh yes, it is easier to give thanks for the good things but I`m learning to give thanks for ALL things. The truth is, He`s never let me down. Sometimes I feel disappointed when He doesn`t follow my plans but His plans concerning me are good, always good. I`m learning daily to let Him lead.

    Thanks for your reminders of what true thanksgiving (in the life of a Christian) ought to be.

    Blessings
    ann

    Reply

    • That was a great post! I think you hit on the key to true thankfulness- trusting God. Just because I don’t understand what He is doing doesn’t mean that He isn’t doing everything for my good. When we are able to realize that He really does love us and He really is going to work things together for our good, it becomes easier to be thankful!

      Reply

  3. Lovely here. Lots of thanksgiving thoughts and thankfulness in the post and comments! Gotta love it! It’s kind of a red flag to me when I’m resisting being thankful in a hard situation. My rebellion (that’s what it is, isn’t it? ha!) makes it hard! My submitting to Him in thankfulness and trust that He is watching out for me, regardless of what I feel and think and see, lightens the whole thing and transforms the situation. Or maybe just transforms me! Do you think that being thankful no matter what, is one of the things that separates us from others who don’t know Jesus and can draw them to Him?
    Thanks for letting me babble here, Ben! 🙂 God bless you!

    Reply

    • Good point. That is a definite red flag! Anytime I find myself getting grouchy and starting to complain, I know that there is a problem. And the problem is with me. 🙂 Being thankful really does transform things, doesn’t it?

      Babble away! 🙂

      Reply

  4. Ann — Tonirand — gave me a link to your post, and it’s awesome!… It looks like we’re all having the same reflections on God’s word this Thanksgiving….. My post with this theme is entitled “Things Which Are Not Seen”….. at 123hallelujah.wordpress.com…..

    We have so much to be thankful for, and realizing God’s closeness in our deepest distresses is a marvel there are no words for….. May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    Margaret

    Reply

    • Hi Margaret- thank you for the comment! Thankfulness is contagious, I think. It almost has a snowball effect when you start thanking the Lord for all that He has done. I am praying that the Lord would help me to keep this spirit of thanksgiving all year long!

      Reply

  5. Ben, I am so thankful for this post! 🙂 Singing hymns and psalms can help us be more thankful. I find the same thing with my contemporary Christian music, too. When I listen to secular music on my iPod and in my car I find myself feeling less thankful and more grumpy. But when I listen to Third Day or Jeremy Camp my heart soars and is filled with wonder and thankfulness for who God is and what He has done for me.

    Another thing that helps me be thankful in trials is to look back at how He has used past trials and struggles to strengthen my faith and help me be closer to Him, and how He has used what I learned to be a blessing and comfort to others. He does work all things for the good of those who love Him!
    Peace, Linda

    Reply

  6. And I am thankful for your comment. 🙂 I wrote a little more about the “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” for the Friday’s post, and what you said really goes along with it well. It’s so true that when you are listening to a song about God’s love or mercy, it’s hard to find much to complain about. And I do think that thanking Him in the trials is all about trusting Him. When you can look back and see how faithful He has been, it does become easier to thank Him.

    Reply

    • Sorry, it was today’s post that talks more about Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. I’m a little messed up right now- I drove all night last night so we could see my wife’s sister and her new baby. I’m still a little confused as to what day it is. 🙂

      Reply

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