God’s people are commanded to give thanks at all times and in all circumstances – not when we feel like it. Praise is a choice and gratitude is a discipline. Thanks doesn’t begin in the emotion, it begins in the will. Will we obey?

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Every good fruit grows in the garden of gratitude. When we give God thanks the Lord works in every direction…

  1. Only God gets the glory. Praise is a humbling thing, a recognition that we are nothing and the Lord is everything. We do not just thank Him for the things that come from His hand but we praise Him for the greatness of His name. Hallelujah, HE never changes! A truly thankful heart acknowledges that God is worthy and gives Him all glory. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
  2. Others come to know the Lord. Praise is the greatest testimony. As we speak of the goodness of God others are drawn to Him. Speak much of the grace of Jesus Christ in your own life! In difficult days searching souls are looking for true hope, and nothing is more attractive than a joyful witness. When the bride in Song of Solomon exalted the goodness of her groom (a picture of Christ), those around her said, “Whither is thy beloved gone…that we may seek him with thee” (Song of Solomon 6:1). In a bad world do others hear about your good God?
  3. Our own spirit will be better for it. Reflecting on the unchanging goodness of your Father will keep you from being blown away by everything around you. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Isn’t that just like the Lord? What brings Him the greatest glory and brings others to Him also brings us the greatest blessings. Thank the Lord.

I would like to invite you to join me for a one week study of what it means to be “Thankful In Difficult Days” from the life of Daniel. These five special podcast episodes will encourage your faith and teach you how to stay near God in dark times. Our Thanksgiving series begins today. We hope you will subscribe to Enjoying the Journey on your favorite podcast player or at scottpauley.org/broadcast and share the studies with others who need encouragement.