The Bible instructs us to be grateful in all things. Passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:15–18,
“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
And Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”
All throughout the Scriptures we are reminded to give thanks, to express gratitude in all things, to appreciate all that He has done for us in our circumstances and yet when you’re serving in ministry, isn’t that sometimes hard?
A small salary, a demanding schedule, doing the single-parent thing, griping members and unstaffed ministries can leave us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
We see the challenge to be thankful — and we think to ourselves, “Man, it’s a struggle sometimes, it really is.”
Yet David doesn’t say “Give thanks to the Lord, when life is good.” And Paul doesn’t say “give thanks in some circumstances”. So, it must be possible.
It IS possible. You see, giving thanks is an act of obedience not a response to a feeling. We can be thankful because factually, God has given us everything we need for life. Factually, Jesus has taken care of every need we may have. And factually, the Holy Spirit has given you access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. It is a factual response to be thankful, not a feeling response.
I think our culture has placed feelings as a faulty gauge for how we respond to things. We should never respond to life events based how we’re feeling, and yet we do it without realizing.
Hear me when I say…
During a panic attack, you can speak words of thankfulness for the chance to lean into Jesus a little bit more.
During a relationship split, you can speak words of gratitude for the healing work that Jesus has a chance to do.
During secret church meetings that are set against your family, you can speak words of thankfulness that God knows all, hears all, and will work for your best.
During calls from bill collectors, your heart can utter words of thankfulness that it is a reminder that our Father cares for even the birds of the air — and even more so for you!
May we be mindful this month, and always, to obediently give thanks because God is greater than any struggle we may have!