How Can I Give Thanks in All Circumstances?
Passage: Colossians 3:15–3:17
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice....It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.” Henry Nouwen
A Biblical Basis for Thanksgiving
1. Thanksgiving is Commanded
“Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” (Psalm 105:1)
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)
2. Thanksgiving is Commended
“Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”” (Luke 17:17–19)
3. Thanksgiving is Life Enhancing
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What Can I Thank God For In The Midst of Disappointment and Loss?
1. The Salvation God has provided in Jesus Christ
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:11–14)
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
2. The Providence of God
“The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Psalm 97:1)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28–29)
• Nothing touches my life that has not passed through the Hands of my Heavenly Father
“And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”” (Job 2:6)
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31–32)
• Everything I endure is designed to Prepare Me for serving others more effectively
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
3. What I Have Left
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” (2 Corinthians 4:7–9)
“And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,” (Acts 16:23–25)
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