It is my goal in this little article to encourage you in DOING God’s WILL – to accomplish His plan, purpose, and design for you. It is surprisingly simple and is not only the means to an end but is actually an end in itself – doing God’s will. It is simply to GIVE THANKS to your Father. After encouraging us to rejoice and pray, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus for you” (ESV, emphasis added).
My thinking on this subject of giving thanks was challenged recently in Ephesians 5. Verse 3 exhorts us not to be covetous and verse 5 warns us that a covetous person (an idolater) will not inherit the Kingdom. Sandwiched between these two is a little phrase in verse 4: “but rather giving of thanks” (KJV)!
Covetousness is a selfish or greedy desire for what I do NOT have. Thankfulness is an attitude of contentment and pleasure for what I do have. Covetousness and giving thanks are really opposites and reflect a core difference in our focus. It is also significant that giving thanks causes us to look to someone else – the Giver. Covetousness focuses selfishly on Me.
Thanks and Praise are such powerful things! Remember what happened to Paul and Silas in jail when they were doing God’s will by praising him? It seemed to be the catalyst for God’s power to come flooding down – their bonds were released and a household was saved that very night.
As in any other area of doing God’s will, I challenge you to take a little time to plan, asking, “How can I in practical ways and times fulfill this will of God – giving thanks - in my life?” Maybe for you, this is a necessary step of obedience in order to experience the power of God in new ways in your life.