Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Stevens family had a custom. Every night they went around the dinner table, and everyone shared something from their day for which they were thankful. One day, Josh was not feeling very thankful. It had rained for the third day that week. They couldn’t go out for recess, and in PE class, they had a lesson about health instead of playing soccer. No thanks!
His little brother Nathan spoke up: “I’m thankful it rained again. The plants need the rain to grow, and we need the plants to eat!” In fact, it seemed like Nathan could always find something to be thankful for.
Being thankful can be hard. So many people seem to have so much more than we have. Sometimes, it seems like we are the only ones who are having problems. And those problems just keep coming. How can we be thankful when it seems like nothing is going right. Death, disease, loneliness, loss, pain, violence, health problems, financial setbacks… the list could go on and on.
Today’s bible verse tells us to “always give thanks to God the Father for everything.” Always? For everything? That seems a little extreme, doesn’t it? But notice the words that come after that: “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Talk about extreme! Jesus showed extreme love for us by his willingness to be punished for our ingratitude and discontentment. The punishment he suffered in our place was pretty extreme, too. He was whipped, beaten, and nailed to a cross. Worst of all, he was cut off from God’s love. And he faced it all willingly for us!
If it weren’t for Jesus, even the best things we have would only be temporary, empty, and worthless. Because of Jesus, all of the trials and troubles we face are only temporary. We have God’s love now and the promise of eternal peace in his presence. And the sorrows of this life can’t compare to the joys of the life to come. Meanwhile, God will use even our troubles and trials, our suffering and sadness, for our eternal good.
Because of Jesus, we can always be thankful in everything!
God, thank you for blessing me always. Fill my heart with gratitude for all of your blessings in Jesus. Amen.