In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1Thessalonians 5:18
Gratitude (Giving thanks to God) is a command. In the scripture above, we are commanded to thank God in all situations we find ourselves; whether pleasant or unpleasant. Your situation may look bad right now, but it could have been worse. A lot of things happen in the realms of the spirit that we are not aware of. What you are currently experiencing may have been permitted by God as an escape route for something worse that the enemy intended. It may be a way of preparing you for something great that God has placed in front of you.
There is a story of a man who had learnt to be grateful no matter what he experienced in life. He believed that any bad experience he had in life was working out for his good. The bible tells us in Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
This man was a friend to a King who loved hunting. They occasionally went hunting together. This man always had a grateful and peaceful disposition no matter what happened to him or around him; no matter how terrible a situation was adjudged by others, he always saw the good side of the situation.
On one of their hunting expedition, the king’s hunting gun had a mechanical problem that he was not aware of. As he shot at an animal, there was strong recoil which cut off the King’s finger. The King shouted in pain and his friend rushed to meet him. As the king cried in pain, his friend told him to be grateful. The king was outraged by the seeming callousness of his friend. He felt his friend was mocking at him and taking their friendship for granted. He could not see any reason to be grateful when he just lost his finger. In anger, the king ordered the arrest of his friend. This man was arrested by the guards on arrival at the village and was thrown into prison.
The King’s doctors attended to his wound and after some time, the king was ready to go hunting again. All the while, the grateful man remained in prison as punishment for his unguarded comments to the king.
The king went hunting without his friend this time around. However, without the presence and guidance of his dear friend who was more experienced in hunting and more familiar with the forest terrain, he soon got lost in the forest. While roaming the forest, searching for the way back to his village, he fell into a cannibal tribe. He was caught and tied up by the cannibals who were very happy to have received a robust meal. The cannibals made preparation for a feast. The king was saddened at the embarrassing and undignified way he was going to die. As the cannibals celebrated and the king prepared himself to embrace death, one of the cannibals made a discovery.
Now, this particular cannibal tribe had a custom of not killing or eating any human whose body parts were not complete. The cannibal discovered that the King had a missing finger. He drew the attention of his tribes’ men to his discovery. They all inspected and found that the king had only four fingers in one hand. As sad as it was, the cannibals had no option but to let the king go. They led him out of the forest and he was able to find his way back to his village.
As he journeyed home, he realised that he had punished his friend unjustly. His friend’s principle of being grateful no matter what happened was correct after all. If he had not lost a finger in that last hunting expedition, he would have been eaten up by the cannibals.
On arrival at his village, He rushed to the prison to see his friend. He ordered the immediate release of his friend and begged him for forgiveness, narrating his ordeal to him.
After hearing all the king had to say, the friend smiled and told the king that he was very grateful for all that had happened. “It is good you arrested me and put me in prison”, he said.
The king would not have any of that. How could being unjustly thrown into prison by a power drunk king be good?
The friend then explained to the King that if he was not in prison, he would certainly have gone on that expedition with the king. They would have fallen into the hands of the cannibals together. Since he had no blemish on his body, the cannibals would have had no qualms feasting on his flesh. And so he would have been killed while the king was set free. Indeed, all that had happened to the king and the friend eventually worked out for their good.
God expects us to be grateful at all time; whether we have the desires of our heart or not. Gratitude is a command from God. When you violate instruction in the Kingdom, there are always consequences. And you know, the first deception in the bible is that the devil makes you feel that if you violate instruction, there are no consequences. He told Eve to eat the fruit, that there was no consequence. If you fail in giving God thanks because of what you are going through, then you are already breaking instruction and the consequences are terrible. When you violate commandment and instruction, you have a problem with God. You begin to experience challenge and destruction in the very area where you have violated instruction. If you do not obey God’s command to be grateful in every situation, you will end up in a tragedy.
We are to give God thanks always; it is not a suggestion, it is an instruction. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:20: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In everything, give thanks. Everything means everything. It is inclusive of everything. The principle of God is meant to be obeyed, not to be investigated. He says give thanks whether you like it or not; whether you are happy or not; whether you are in a good situation or not. When you act like you are too wise and begin to seek logical explanations for the instructions of God, you will miss God.
What if it looks bad, still thank Him. It could have been worse. There is hope that it will turn out for good. If it was easy, He will not instruct you to give thanks always. It is because He knows that it is not easy, that is why He is instructing you to do it. It is not easy, but it is the way out. May thanksgiving become your lifestyle in Jesus name, amen.
The Glory Of Thanksgiving
1. Thanksgiving attracts a remembrance
Whenever God remembers a man, a miracle is imminent. When God remembers you, there is a conception and a delivery. When God remembers you, there is evidence.
When God remembered Hannah, she delivered her miracle. See 1Samuel 1:19-20- And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
When God remembered Rachel, He hearkened unto her prayers and her womb was opened. See Genesis 30:22-23- And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach.
When God remembers a man, the embarrassment is taken away. The mockery is taken away. The laughter is taken away. When God remembers you, whatever overwhelmed you is swallowed. Whatever covered you is shifted away. Every good thing about you that the enemy covered up is opened up. Your talent, husband, progress, business, children, promotion, that was covered is unveiled.
As you begin to thank God inspite of the unpleasant situation, your closed door will be opened. It does not matter who closed it, whether God or devil, whether your enemy or your friend, or even if you are the one that closed the door; when your remembrance comes, the door is opened.
When God remembers a man, it affects his environment. It affects his relations. When God remembered Noah, it affected his family. It affected the animals. It affected those that were with him. See Genesis 8:1- And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged.
When God remembered Noah, the waters returned. This means the water was restrained. It was stopped from performing. When you are remembered, the aggressor is restrained. The enemy/oppressor is restrained so that you can move forward and make progress.
2. Thanksgiving breaks the curse and establishes a new covenant.
Noah considered his remembrance and deliverance by God in the midst of all the inhabitants of the earth and his heart was filled with gratitude to God. He built an ark unto the Lord and gave a thanksgiving offering to God. See Genesis 8:20-22-
And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
When God smelled the sweet savour, He was happy and made a fresh covenant with man. When you give God thanks, the curse is broken. It does not matter who cursed you. Thanksgiving has the power to break curses.
Thanksgiving takes away judgement and prevents what happened before from happening again.
3. Thanksgiving attracts God’s blessings
As a result of the thanksgiving offering offered to God by Noah and his sons, God poured out blessings upon them. See the Bible account in Genesis 9:1-2:
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
Blessing means you are empowered for success, progress, achievement. Blessing means fruitfulness is activated.