“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.” 1 Chron. 16:34
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:” Psalm 103:1-2
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8
I have a friend who likes to say “Thank you Jesus!” in a sweet little sing-song-y voice. I love hearing her do that. Inspires me to be thankful. She hasn’t even given her life to Jesus yet, but I believe the Lord is drawing her to Himself and that she’s starting to see His love and splendor and magnificence. And she likes to tell Jesus thank you. It doesn’t just inspire me. It makes me think of something else. Of how when I look back over the years, so many of my “Thank you Jesus” times, so to speak, have been conditional. How so?
Thank you Lord for giving me what I want. Thank you Lord for giving me what I want when I want it. Thank you for answering my prayers the way I want them answered. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers when I want you to. Thank you Lord for making this happen. Thank you Lord for making that happen. Thank you Lord for blessing me. Thank you Lord for this gift and that one.
Notice anything when you read all that? My friend, we need to be thankful to the Lord ALL THE TIME. We need to praise the Lord ALL the time. We need to worship the Lord ALL the time. We need to bless the Lord ALL the time. We need to be grateful to God ALL the time.
We need to be thankful not just when we get what we want, but we need to be thankful to the Lord for being Lord. For being God. For being King. For dying on the cross for us and being raised from the dead. For forgiving those who repent and turn to Him. For loving us. For His kindness, patience, graciousness, generosity, mercy, peace, hope, joy, promises. For His Spirit who lives inside His followers.
For His Word, the Bible. For His chastening, convicting, conforming His followers to Himself. For always knowing what’s best. For His protection. For His lordship. For His friendship. For His nearness. For His wisdom, direction, guidance, counsel, and comfort. For His character. For His power, grace, and sovereignty. For His plans and purpose.
For who He is, what He did, is doing, and will do. For creating the universe. For nature. For beauty. For forever fellowship with Him for those who have committed their lives to Him and follow Him. For heaven to look forward to. For our relationship now for those who live for Him. And on and on and on.
When should we love Jesus? Just when things are going well? No. ALL the time! When should we thank the Lord? Just based on Him giving us something good? No. ALL the time. When should we be thankful to the Lord? Just when we feel like it? No. ALL the time. And even when we aren’t looking upward to the Lord and saying or singing, “Thank you Jesus,” we should be living in such a way that He knows how thankful we are!
Friend, we are to live a lifestyle of love, praise, worship, and thanksgiving. A lifestyle of believing in Jesus and following Jesus. A lifestyle of forever communion with Him. Of relationship with Him. Of making our love for Him and thanksgiving to Him known to Him in our words, thoughts, and actions.
Thank you Jesus! Most of all, Jesus, for you! You, who are forever! You, Lord! I thank you Father for who you are! For everything about you! Help me to live my life in such a way I bring glory to you forevermore. Help me to live in such a way that you know in the very way I live and breathe how thankful to you I am, oh Lord! AMEN!