Consider this verse:
Ephesians 5:20 – 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
We are commanded to thank God for everything. To me sometimes, this just simply doesn’t make sense. Everything? Really? Come on.
But what about bad times, bad news, bad situations, bad circumstances? Surely God doesn’t expect us to give Him thanks for those and in those does He?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the
will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Yes, He does. He commands us to give Him thanks always, for everything, and in all circumstances. For the good times and the bad times. For the ups and downs and highs and lows. But is this reasonable? Can anyone be truly expected to obey this command? Why would I thank God for the bad news, events or circumstances that come unwanted and unwelcome into my life?
Because He is good. Because His steadfast and irrevocable love endures toward us forever! Listen to the Psalmist.
Psalm 106:1 – 1 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Sixteen times in the Old Testament this phrase is found! During times when Israel is being blessed, and times when they are cursed by God for their sin. While celebrating military victories, and when being lead away into captivity. Regardless of their situation and circumstances, Israel was called to give thanks to the Lord because He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever!
So it is with us today. We are called to thank Him for His innate goodness and the steadfast love that He has placed on us for eternity. We are called to thank Him always, for everything in all circumstances. His goodness and loving character and disposition toward us is and unshakable reality no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. He desires us to know this. To seek and find comfort and refuge in this. He means for us to look to Him and praise Him for being Him no matter what circumstance bombards us. This means we can and should always thank Him for Him and for the way He has chosen to love us.
The peace and comfort this command brings us is immeasurable. It means that we can love and thank Him in the midst of uncertainty and insecurity, in the depths of unspeakable pain and suffering, when we feel hopeless and helpless…He is good and His steadfast love remains forever. This reality of His character sustains us through tears, grief and unimaginable brokenness and loss.
God wants us to understand that while our situations and circumstances will invariably change, He will not. He is unchanging. (James 1:17) He is everlasting. (Psalm 90:2 & Isaiah 26:2) He is an impregnable fortress. (Psalm 18:2)
We can thank Him for the pain we’ve felt because it pushes us toward Him as the God of all comfort. We can thank Him for hurt and betrayal we’ve experienced because it leads us to His perfect comfort and love. We can thank Him for the bad leaders in authority over us that make us long for His perfect leadership that will ultimately reign eternal over the new heavens and the new earth.
He is good. He can be trusted!
It is the bad and bitter tastes of life that help us fully appreciate the sweet and savory food that comes from the hand of a good and perfect God. It is the reality of eternal, conscience suffering in Hell that enable us to better appreciate the eternal comfort of ruling and reigning with Christ forever. It is the sick and disgusting nature of our sin that helps us marvel at His grace that would save us from the judgment that we deserve. The many times per day that I selfishly fail to obey God make me wonder at how Christ fully and selflessly obeyed the Father every day of His earthly life.
So despite the uncertain economy, the uncertainty of your plans, the hurt, pain or betrayal you may now feel, regardless of your present circumstances … thank and praise God! Always. For everything. Scripture commands it.
He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever!