Published November 22, 2016

Paul's Epistle
"In All Things..."

I think the Thanksgiving holiday is a terrible idea!

Got your attention, didn't I?

Well, actually, I think it's a wonderful idea. Except for this — It seems to be the only time of the year when some folks actually think about giving thanks to God.

Why is that? Giving thanks to God for his abundant blessings should be a 24/7/365-type thing — all day, every day, throughout the year. With every breath we take we should have, as someone has said, an "attitude of gratitude."

How often do you give thanks? Well, for starters, if you eat three meals a day that's at least three times you give thanks. You do, don't you?  I think it's rather arrogant not to give thanks for our meals. And when you do it in public, at a restaurant, for example, it's a wonderful testimony, even when done silently. In fact, even Jesus did it, as when he fed the multitude: "He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude." (Matt.15:36.) Again, at the Last Supper, He gave thanks. (Matt. 26:27.)

Bible teachers tell us praise and thanksgiving should be a vital part of every prayer. Along with confession and adoration (worship), it opens the channels of communication with God, who, after all, is the source of all good things. In the familiar words of the Doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."

For what should we express thanks? Everything! 1st Thess. 5:18 reminds us, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  Remember – "everything" means every thing. EVERY thing! Yes, even the bad things that happen to us. You survived them, right? You learned from them, right? Who do you think brought you through? Give thanks.

What else?

Dr. Billy Graham once said, "As I contemplate the thousands of things for which I am thankful, the thing for which I am most grateful is the love of God. I thank Him for His matchless grace, His everlasting mercy and His abounding love."

After hearing a previous "thoughts of thanks" edition of our radio program, a Canadian listener wrote to say, "So much to be thankful to God for. Salvation, first and foremost, without which nothing else matters. I'm so blessed it's embarrassing. But I know from where it comes and thank Him every day. The faculties I have, to see the wonder of Creation around me, to feel the sun externally and feel love and joy internally. The ability to move freely with a healthy, fit body. To be able to hear well and enjoy good Gospel music. I know many don't enjoy even these simple gifts. I know I can get along without them but am so glad I don't have to..."

Look around you. Go ahead – take your eyes off the screen for a moment and look around you. Everything you see – everything! – is something for which to give thanks. The Easter Brothers once wrote a song that said if we'd really thank God for everything, we'd be, as the song title suggested, "Forever On Our Knees." But I certainly can think of worse places to be.

Go ahead – be thankful this Thanksgiving. But make it a point to be thankful every day. Develop that everyday "attitude of gratitude." That's when thanks-giving becomes "thanks-living."

"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1st Cor. 15:57.)

- Paul

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