Recently, I had the privilege to teach the final lesson of an excellent discipleship/class study written by John MacArthur entitled Fundamentals of the Faith. This last lesson, “God’s Will and Guidance” was based off of his sermon “Knowing and Doing God’s Will” in which he biblically outlines how one can know God’s will, as it is defined in the Bible, rather than searching aimlessly for some hidden jewel buried in the sand. In listening to this sermon, Dr. MacArthur brought out several New Testament passages which state in no uncertain terms, “This is God’s will”. One such passage, which appropriately fits this time of year, can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” On this day that is celebrated as a day of Thanksgiving, we need to be reminded by God’s Word that we should be thankful in “all circumstances” which certainly cannot be limited to a particular time of year or day. What then does “all circumstances” mean? Well you should know that both the historical and Greek rendering of this phrase means “all circumstances”. So that means good times and bad; sickness and health; rich and poor; better or worse. Give thanks in all these circumstances. Why does it sound like a marriage vow? Because in a sense it is. Those of you who are believers in Christ comprise His Church, which the Bible refers to as the Bride of Christ (John 3:29, Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelation 19:7-8, et.al.). In this sense we are in a covenant, marriage relationship with Christ and it is because of that we are able to give thanks in all things knowing that the trials and troubles in this life are but temporary compared to a glorious eternity with Christ our bridegroom. So give thanks on this day. But wake up tomorrow and the next day giving thanks as well.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:15