“… giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
William Still was a pastor in the last century of one church in Scotland for 52 years. He finally retired from full time ministry at the age of 86! The following is a quote from William Still: “It is sad when there is nothing for which we feel grateful to God, but it is serious when there is something and we fail to show gratitude, and it is tragic when we are so busy asking for more that we forget to thank Him for what we have received.”
Words cannot begin to describe the blessings which we know: not only all the material blessings, not only our health, not only our freedoms, not only the love of friends and family, but think of knowing a peace in your heart that is beyond comprehension, think of the calm assurance with which we can face the future knowing Him who holds all things in His hand, think of the eternal home being prepared even now for those who love Him. Think, congregation, of Him who is said to be our “exceeding great reward,” our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself!!
And we are to give thanks for everything, for God even designs the trials in our lives to be a blessing, and an occasion for thanksgiving. A popular contemporary Christian Song contains the lyrics: “What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?!” Every circumstance that God brings into our lives is designed to take our eyes off this fleeting world, and focus our hearts completely on our Saviour!
If we could but catch a glimpse in true perspective of what we have in Christ Jesus, then we would burst into a doxology. Such is what happened to the apostle Paul in Romans 11:33,36: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”