The Word of God tells us that all we have is a gift from God: James 1:17 “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” If we receive a gift from a friend or family member, we are grateful and say “Thank You”. If our friends are worthy of gratitude, why not our Heavenly Father? Since He gave us everything, of course we should thank God for everything. God's Word tells us that we need to show gratitude. The Psalms provide many references to the gratitude we are to give to God. Several are listed below: Psalm 100:4: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.” Psalm 9:1-2: “I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. We are to be grateful and do so with joy and prayer. But do we need to be thankful for the problems in our lives? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – The will of God is that we rejoice and be filled with gratitude and we are to give thanks for EVERYTHING. Everything means just that, we are to give thanks for everything, not just the good things.
A young child may want to eat candy for dinner, but the parents will not allow it. The child does not understand why he can’t have the candy. It is, however for his own good. Likewise, we may not understand why we are going through a specific trial or tribulation, but if it is God’s will, then like the child who can’t eat candy for dinner, it is also for our own ultimate good. We should be grateful, even if we do not understand the reason for our problem. Jesus Himself talks about the gratitude we need to show during tribulations: Matt 5:11 – 12: " Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” If we face tribulations we are to be grateful as the rewards we will receive will be great. Being grateful is not only one of God’s requirements of us. It is also for our own good. We cannot be dissatisfied with our lot in life if we are thankful for all we have. In all things be grateful! Mark Askeda