In Everything Give Thanks
We will never be the men of God that we should be or could be unless we have other godly men in our lives. Men who will come along side and encourage us to make the right decisions, not based on emotions and fear, but rather based on wisdom from above. We are Christ centered, faith based, and grace driven. We as Men of God need to keep our eyes on the prize of the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and our hearts on his mission.
We have so much for which to be thankful. An attitude of gratitude is the key to keeping on mission.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 exhorts those called of God to “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you.“
The theme of Philippians is keeping a joyful heart. Joyfulness is a deliberate decision. Joy is not the result of worldly circumstances. Rather joy is the result of the work that God has already done in us and through us when we were born again of God’s spirit. We have joyfulness despite the bad news that the world throws at us. We can rejoice because God is working in us behind the scenes to will and to do of his good pleasure… For that which the adversary meant for evil, God meant for good. According to Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God… to those who are called according to his purpose.” Therefore Psalm 100 says that we can “enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise, be thankful unto him and bless his name… for the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations.”
We must deliberately decide to rejoice in his name. Then the other two commandments will flow from a joyful heart… pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks. To maintain the joy that he gave us when we were born again, we must offer ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and wholly acceptable unto him which is our reasonable service.
We must keep foremost in our minds that for which we are thankful. An attitude of gratitude will offset the things for which we are angry and resentful. Anger and resentment focus on the things and the people we perceive as having violated our “rights.” Chambers said, “any fool can claim his rights, and any demon will make sure he gets them.” We have two foundational documents that govern our rights as Citizens of the United States: The Bill of Rights and The Constitution. However, both documents are only as good as those who interpret it. As Americans, we are jealous of our “rights” documented in the law of the land. It’s a privilege to have rights. Americans think that rights are are worth fighting for. In our nation, we as dual citizens of America and of Heaven, must have a firm foundation of the Word of God from which to interpret our rights. This foundation starts with a joyful, prayerful, and a thankful heart before our heavenly Father.
When you ask someone, “Do you read your Bible?,” often the answer is, “yes but not enough.” God is not concerned so much with how much you read it, but whether you abide with him and within him. God is most concerned about your relation with him as your Heavenly Father. If I abide in him and he in me, when I’ve just sinned, the holy spirit will hold up the righteous standard of the Word of God before my eyes. Seeing according to the Word of God, allows God to work with me and through me to will and to do of his good pleasure in contrast to the good pleasure of my fallen sinful nature.
Give thanks always for everything and in everything. God loves a grateful heart. Sin springs from an ungrateful heart. The opposite of being grateful is to be upset, irritated, angry, impatient, and resentful. The devil knows that often only one barb of an unkind comment will burst our balloon of happiness. Therefore deliberately, intentionally and purposefully set your affections on things above and not on things of this world. According to Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” Our prayer is “not my will, but thine be done.” Paul wasn’t prepared for God to answer his prayer when he prayed twice, “Lord remove this thorn from my flesh.” If you don’t know the Word of God, you don’t know the will of God. The Word of God is the will of God. The Lord finally answered Paul the third time he prayed for God to remove his thorn in the flesh. God’s answer was, “my grace is sufficient for you.”
God’s will for our life is for us to be blessed. The beatitudes are about being blessed. Blessed are they… who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. The key to being blessed is to seek the Blessor and not the blessing. Seek the Lord, so shalt thou prosper and be of good success. This is the will of God for you in Christ. He has given us the power to rejoice in all things, to be prayerful in all things, and to be grateful in all things.
Don’t stop struggling. Can God count on us? When the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to be the reliable ones who are faithful to his will. We must remember that we are works in process… O Lord, mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.
There is nothing in life that God can’t handle. Thy grace is sufficient for me. Therefore, rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you.
May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,