Should we give thanks to God all the time even when things are bad? The answer to that question is Yes!!! It is stated in Thessalonians 5:18… 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The apostle, Paul, wasn’t teaching that we should thank God for everything that happens to us, but in everything. Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank God for it. But when evils strike, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good that God will accomplish through the distress. There is a great example in the bible about this in the book of Job. Job was the most righteous and prosperous man of his day and God was well pleased with Job. Satan told God that the only reason Job praised and gave thanks to God was because of his wealth of blessings. Satan told the God if you take his wealth of blessing away Job would curse God. This is stated in Job 1:6-12… 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[a] also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
In this passage of scripture, we learn a great deal about Satan, 1) Satan is accountable to God. All angelic beings, good and evil are compelled to present themselves to God. God knew Satan was intent on attacking Job. 2) Satan can be at only one place at a time. His demons aid him in his work, but as created being, he is limited. 3) Satan cannot see into our minds or foretell the future. If he could, he would have known that Job would not break under pressure. 4) Because Satan can do nothing without God’s permission God’s people can overcome Satan’s attacks through God’s power. 5) God puts limitations on what Satan can do. Satan’s response to the Lord’s question tells us that Satan is real and active on earth knowing this about Satan should cause us to remain close to God who is greater than Satan.
Another reason to be thankful to God in all things is that if you are a child of God everything will be for your good. Paul states this in Romans 8:28 … 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. In this passage of scripture God works in ‘all things’ not just isolated incidents for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill God’s purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called according to God’s purpose. Those who are ‘called’ are those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Such people have a new mindset, a new perspective on life. They trust in God, not life’s treasures, they look for their securely in heaven, not on earth; they learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because God is with them always.
Still another reason to be thankful to God is because every experience can produce Godly character in your life. Paul, the apostle, further expressed this in Romans 8:20-30 …. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. God’s ultimate goal for us is to make like Christ. As we become more and more like Christ, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be. How can we be conformed to Christ’s likeness? By reading and heeding the Word of God, by studying his life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with the Spirit, and by doing his work in the world. Some believe these verses mean that before the beginning of the world, God chooses certain people to receive his gift of salvation. They point to verses like Ephesians 1:11 that says we are predestined according to the purpose of God who works all things according to the counsel of God’s will. ‘Others believe that God foreknew those who would respond to God and upon those God set his mark (predestined). What is clear is that God’s purpose for people was not an afterthought, it was settled before the foundation of the world. People are to serve and honor God. If you have believed in Christ, you can rejoice in the fact that God has always known you. God’s love is eternal. God’s wisdom and power are supreme. He will guide and protect you until you one day stand in God’s presence.
The last reason you should thank God in all things is that everything has the potential to teach you God’s ways. God desires to fellowship with us, but our perspectives and God’s perspectives are often different. God states this in Isaiah 55:9 … “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. God’s knowledge and wisdom are far greater that man’s. We are foolish to try to fit God into our mold, to make his plans and purpose conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans. God may teach us his way through putting us through trails or conflicts in our lives. To seek God’s purpose we must go through these trails. This is also express in Exodus 33:12-13… 12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this person.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’13 Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” … The purpose of knowing God’s ways is to know God!!! I have submitted a gospel video related to this article. Enjoy this video. Always remember “Keep the Faith, and God Loves You and So Do I!!”
What do you think? Your comments are welcome!!!
Written by Kofi Baruti