The Word of God commands us to give thanks in everything ( 1 Thess. 5:18 ). This is not just a casual remark, for added to it is the reminder that ” this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” This addition to the commandment of thanksgiving gives it an importance surpassing mere exhortations of the Word. God’s definite will for the believer is that he shall be a fountain of praise and that his life shall be in thanksgiving to God at all times and in all circumstances.
The Lord God, who is the Author of all our blessings, appreciates, desires, and even seeks our praise and thanksgiving. ” The Father seeks such to worship Him, ” the Lord told the woman at the well ( John 4:23 ). ” Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me ” ( Ps. 50:23 KJV ). And the Psalmist also said, ” Everyday I will bless You, and I will praise Your name for ever and ever ” ( Ps. 145:2 ).
These verses show that thanksgiving has no relationship to circumstances. We are to thank God in all things; The Lord knows what is best for us, and He is ordering the course of our life, bringing the details to pass in the time and manner of His desire. He has never made a mistake, and what He allows to come into the life of His child is for the good of that child and for the glory of God. Any chastisement that ever reaches us comes for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness ( Heb. 12:10 ).
One of the great preachers of the past, the saintly Rutherford, went through persecutions beyond the lot of most men. Yet at the end of his life he could write:
Deep waters crossed life’s pathway, the hedge of thorns was sharp; Now these all lie behind me, Oh, for a well-tuned harp!
It is wonderful that a man who has been through sufferings akin to those of Job should cry out in desire for a heart to praise the Lord. Such desire is proof of confidence and trust in the Father, for it is the acknowledgment that He does all things well. Thanksgiving in all things, this is the will of God.
~ Donald Grey Barnhouse