Summary: 5 steps to always being able to give thanks

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Title: Give Thanks Always

With this being Thanksgiving week I’d like to focus most of this sermon on one verse. “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18)

Now I wonder what comes to most of our minds when we read that verse. I think we would all agree that this has got to be one of the most challenging verses in the Bible Some verses in the Bible are challenging because we not sure what they mean.This is not one of those kinds of verses. This verse is challenging because we know what God is asking of us in the verse. God is challenging all of us to give thanks in all circumstances.

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

How does someone take on a challenge like this? There is an answer! Experts tell us that one of the best ways to take on any challenge is to break the challenge down into small steps. And since this is a challenging verse it might be helpful for us to do the same–to break the verse down into small steps.

So we are going to break this challenging verse down into 5 small steps

Step 1. Give thanks

Step 2. In all circumstances

Step 3. For this is God’s will

Step 4. For you

Step 5. In Christ Jesus

The first step we have to take in order to meet the challenge in this verse is to give thanks.

Step 1 Give thanks

Definition of give thanks: To show one self grateful, to be thankful. All of us here can successfully do this first step. All of us can give thanks. There are lots of different ways we can give thanks…

For example

•We can give thanks loudly

•We can give thanks quietly

•We can give thanks in a group setting

•We can give thanks all by our self

•We can give thanks in creative ways

•We can give thanks in traditional ways

Conclusion: Again all of us here can successfully do this first step. All of us can give thanks

So let’s move on to step 2

Step 2 . In all circumstances

Step 2 gives us the answer to the question; “When should we to give thanks?”

We are to give thanks in all circumstances. Right now You might be thinking what I’m thinking

Step 1 is easy but Step 2 is impossible to do! Step 2 can’t be done!

It might just be impossible to do because we are not reading the step 2 instructions properly. We are not instructed to give thanks for all circumstances rather we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. ”In” and not “for”. There is a difference!

We thank God for all the good circumstance that happens to us…

We thank God in all the bad circumstances that happens to us

Illustration: Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your name

When I'm found in the desert place

Though I walk through the wilderness

Blessed Be Your name

Blessed be Your name

On the road marked with suffering

Though there's pain in the offering

Blessed be Your name

Illustration Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry, who wrote a commentary on every book of the Bible, was once robbed. The thieves took everything of value that he had. Later that evening he wrote in his diary these words, “I am thankful that during these years I have never been robbed before. Also, even though they took my money, they did not take my life. Although they took all I had, it was not much. Finally, I am grateful that it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

NT character: the Apostle Paul (Someone who stands out as a person who gave thanks in all circumstances)

For example

“After they had been severely flogged they were thrown into prison and the jailor was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stock. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:23-25)

We don’t thank God for all the bad things that happen to us -we thank God in all the bad things that happen to us

Question: Why should I give thanks in all circumstances? You need to give me a really good reason why I should give thanks in all circumstance

Step 3

3.For this is God’s will

I should give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s will. God’s will for my Life and God’s will for your life is that we give thanks in all circumstances

OT: Job:

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

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