...... When he wrote to the Thessalonians
"in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. " 1 Thess 5v18, (NKJV).
This is not a random statement that Paul made, hoping that the Thessalonians and eventually, all who read his letter, would read and think that it's a nice concept.
Giving thanks is what is at the core of our relationships with God. If we want to experience what it's like to have a deep, intimate relationship with God, we have to learn to give thanks. We have to learn to thank Him in every aspect of our lives.
Giving thanks to God is the most basic form of worship. We don't even have to sing to give thanks, we only have to say the words.
It's a difficult verse to fulfil as often, we don't want to give thanks. There are many times when we have a desire to thank God, yet there are times when it's the last thing we want to do. This is when giving thanks is the most important thing we can do. Why? because God is glorified whenever we give thanks to Him.
Psalm 22v3,(NKJV) says :
"But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel."
When we give thanks, we release praise to God. God dwells in our praise of Him, so when we praise God, it releases activity in the heavenly realms that allows Him to come into our situation. God becomes more glorified as we praise Him. His light grows stronger, His glory becomes more intense and the darkness flees.
There are circumstances that may make us think things are so bleak that there is nothing to thank God for. When times are tough, we delve into our testimony, we give thanks to God for what He has done before. We give thanks that He is providing every breath we breathe. We give thanks to Him because He is God. He is I Am. We give thanks to Him because He is God. We don't need a reason, it should become quite easy too.
We were created in God's image so therefore, the very nature of God exists in us. We were made to worship Him, so giving thanks to Him is something we are good at.
Have you ever stopped to think that you are better at giving thanks, at praising and worshipping God than you are at sinning?
Being made to Worship God is what we were made for.
Imagine you are a carpenter's saw. You are made with a purpose, cutting wood cleanly and accurately. If you are then used to bang nails into the same piece of wood, you aren't going to be very good at it.
Thanking God is what we were made for. Being in a close, intimate relationship with God is where it's at. That's fulfilling the purpose God set out for us. It's what God's will was when He created Adam all those years ago. Adam lived, for a time, in perfect relationship with the Father, that was what God intended for mankind. It's the relationship Jesus modelled when He walked the earth, absolute, perfect deep intimate relationship with the Father. It's the relationship that God desires to have with each of us.
God is abundantly glorified when we fulfil our potential in Him. Doing this on it's own is giving glory to God. Jesus set the example of giving thanks when He prayed over the 5 loaves and 2 fish (you can read it here). He gave thanks and the blessing occurred.
He gave thanks and God was glorified. He gave thanks and God's will was released into the situation. He gave thanks and the miracle happened. He gave thanks, because He loved His Father and wanted Him to be the one who got the glory, the honour and the majesty.
So try to give thanks to God. Then when you've tried, try harder. Then keep doing it and you will find that you are suddenly giving thanks to God and your perception of your circumstances changes. Your worries, your concerns and your qualms will all seem to matter a bit less. Your experience of God will become more and you will realise that there is nothing, that God cannot change, there is no situation that He can't turn around and be glorified in. You will realise that you are actually praising Him, despite your circumstances.
You are giving thanks in all circumstances.