Paul declares in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We have so many reasons to give thanks to God: for Creation, for His provision and His guidance, for calling us into a love relationship with Him through Christ, for putting His love in our hearts for one another, and for giving us hope and faith for eternal life!
Thankful for Creation
First of all, let us be thankful that He created us, and that His goodness and mercy are everlasting, as Psalm 100 declares:
Psalm 100 (NKJV)
1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Thankful for God’s Provision and Guidance
Psalm 107 urges people to give thanks for God’s goodness, mercy and wonderful works: “1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”
James 1:5 encourages, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
In Psalm 23, David praises the Lord for many blessings, declaring in verse 3: “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Thankful for Faith, Hope and Love, and Eternal Life
Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul encourages believers to be “putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”
John 3:16 declares,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John’s gospel and epistles teach how God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to take the judgment for our sins, opening the way for us to have an eternal love relationship with Him.
1 John 4
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Thankful for Friends and Brethren
Following Paul’s example in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4, we give thanks for our friends and beloved brethren: “ We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”
God has poured out His love in our hearts, so that now we can love one another with His love, as Romans 5:5 declares, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
1 John 4:7-8 urges us to express the essence of God which is love:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul exhorts us to pray with thanksgiving in everything:
“Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
David Krause, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://compellinglove.net/ 7-17-2016