We know that we are to be thankful. The Lord’s will is for us to be thankful, 1 Thes 5:18. And this includes being thankful “always for all things,” Eph 5:20. One of the reasons that men stray so far from God, turn to idolatry and evolution, and get into really wicked sin is that they refuse to be thankful to God, Rom 1:21. Jesus referred to the generation that saw His earthly ministry as a “wicked and adulterous,” Matt 16:4. One of the reasons is that they were a thankless bunch of people. When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one of them thanked Him, Lk 17:12-19.
I’m aware that our society is also thankless. So, we need to stand apart from society and be thankful. Therefore, we need to know what to thank God for. We need to thank Him for:
His goodness – Ps 118:29 – God is good and His goodness and nature never change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Even when we are out of sorts with Him the Bible says that the goodness of God leads you to repentance. We can take great confidence in Rom 8:28 not because the circumstances are always good but because the God of the circumstances is always good. Hasn’t He been especially good to you?
His mercy – Ps 118:29 – If it weren’t for the mercy of the Lord we wouldn’t be here today. If He hadn’t had mercy on us we would have already been toast. God flooded out Noah’s generation for the same corruption that we have going on today. He would be justified to wipe us out as He wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, because of His mercy, He has spared us. He surely has been merciful to us!!
His holiness – Ps 97:12 – 1 Chr 16:35 and His holy name. Thank God that He has never succumbed to iniquity. All exalted beings, in pride, fall. Our God has never done one thing wrong. He is perfectly holy and no legitimate accusation can be charged against Him. Jesus was proven faultless at His own trial. And as a result, His exalted name has the power to save and the power to heal.
His righteous judgment – Ps 119:62 – God justifies the innocent and punishes the wicked and He never gets it wrong. Thank God that His righteous judgment against sin allowed Him to pour out His wrath on His holy Son that through His mercy we might be saved. And since He has already punished His Son for our sins, He gives us an assurance that we will never spend even one second in hell.
His answered prayer – Dan 2:23 – This is one of the most common reasons we thank the Lord But be sure to thank Him. You don’t want to be like those lepers.
Jesus thanked His Father for answered prayer before His prayer was answered. His heart was so in tune with the heart of the Father that He could boldly ask knowing it was the will of God. In the same way, our Savior calls us to align our hearts with our Heavenly Father’s heart. His plan is for our desires to be His desires, our wants to be His wants, our goals to be His goals, our will to be His will, and our prayers to be His prayers. Hence, we can thank Him for answered prayers!
His grace – 1 Cor 1:4 – The great provision of His grace that strengthens us in our own weakness is one of the greatest gifts of God given to us. You can do without many of the things you and I consider “necessities” as long as we have His grace.
His victory – 1 Cor 15:57 – You aren’t going to get out of this world in the same shape you’re in right now. You’ll either die or be changed. But thank God that, because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are going to get the victory over death and the grave.
His saints – Phil 1:3 – This is one of the most common reasons that Paul thanked the Lord. He was thankful to God for the people who had come to Jesus Christ through the preaching of the gospel. I am thankful for you!!
Conclusion: Be thankful ALWAYS!!