Summary: 1- The reason for thanksgiving 2- The place of thanksgiving 3- The way of thanksgiving
INTRO.- We are to give thanks IN all circumstances. This doesn’t mean that we must give thanks FOR all circumstances, because not everything that happens to us in life is a good thing.
For example, it’s hard to give thanks when a loved one passes away. That is a heart-wrenching time, but we can give thanks if our loved one is in Christ or is a Christian. That makes their passing somewhat bearable. So, in all circumstances we must somehow find a way to give thanks to God. There is something for which to be thankful in every circumstance of life if we will look for it.
ILL.- Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so bad that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this."
Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that the weather is not always like this." Yes, if nothing else, during bad situations in life we can be thankful that they will eventually pass.
And, of course, normally when we think of giving thanks, we think of giving thanks for our meals.
ILL.- The preacher asked the little girl at church, “Do you say a prayer before you eat your meals?” She replied, “No, we don’t do that because mom’s a good cook.”
If your mom is a good cook then perhaps you don’t need to give thanks for the food or ask God’s blessing on it. Is that right? No, I don’t think so. I think all the food that God gives us (good, bad or otherwise) should be received with thanksgiving.
I Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” Nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving! Does this mean we can eat anything?
Our food is consecrated by prayer! Or perhaps by the prayer of thanksgiving. Consecrated. Meaning what? To consecrate something is to make it sacred. Does praying over our food make it sacred? Could be. At least, we should give thanks for whatever we have and ask God to bless it and make it useful to us, give us energy, etc. Does this work for junk food too?
When we pray and give thanks for our food, it may be as we’ve heard it prayed before: that we ask God to bless our food to our bodies and then our bodies to His service. I believe there is something to that since we all are supposed to serve the Lord and we need physical energy to be able to do that.
I think it’s always right to give thanks for everything good in life and ask God’s blessing on it whether it’s food, our work, our lives, our loved ones, our ministries, etc.
The book of Psalms is full of praise to God. We can learn from the Psalms and from David who penned many of the Psalms.
PROP.- The book of Psalms gives us more insight into our expressions of thanksgiving.
1- The reason for thanksgiving
2- The place of thanksgiving