WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 9, 2021
TOPIC: THANK GOD WHATEVER HAPPENS
BY T. O. BANSO
“And give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 New Century Version).
Not everybody is good at showing gratitude, either to God or fellow human beings. This is bad. Some people don’t give thanks to God. They look at their lives and believe there is nothing worth thanking God for. Not even that they’re alive up to this time when Christmas is around the corner and the year is just a couple of days to end.
Such people believe that thanking God is not for people like them but for those on whom God had showered His blessings throughout the year. They believe they are excluded from thanksgiving. They could even argue that God knows that He is yet to do anything for them that makes Him deserve thanksgiving from them! But they’re wrong.
Everybody has enough reasons to thank God. Thanksgiving doesn’t exclude anyone because there’s nobody alive who is not a beneficiary of the mercy of God that has kept him alive. This is worth thanking God for. “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 118:1, 29 New King James Version). Lamentation 3:22 says through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not.
In addition, no one will be correct to say God has not done anything for him this year. That doesn’t mean God has satisfied everybody’s expectations. And it doesn’t mean everyone has realized his goals. If you can think, you can thank! A thoughtful person will be a thankful person.
A dead person cannot look forward to another year. He cannot aspire to do anything in the New Year. He doesn’t even know Christmas is coming or that the New Year is approaching. He cannot thank God. David said to God, “For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?” (Psalm 6:5 New King James Version). Thanksgiving can only be done by those who are alive.
You, probably, know some people close to you who started this year but are not alive today. Thanksgiving is not for them. It’s for those who are breathing. As the writer of Psalm 150 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” (Verse 6 New King James Version). The Revised Standard Version says, “Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” The New Living Translation renders it thus: “Let everything that lives sing praises to the LORD!”
Yes, you can thank God and sing praises to God for answers to prayers or the things you know God has done for you. But there are many things God has done for you that you are not aware of or you take for granted. He deserves thanks for everything. That’s why anyone who says God hasn’t done anything for him to warrant thanking Him for lies. Everybody owes God a debt of gratitude for what He has done that he is aware of and what he is ignorant of or overlooks.
The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:18-20, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (New King James Version). Give thanks always to God. Thanksgiving can never be too much.
Also, Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (New King James Version). The New International Version puts it like this: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” And the New Century Version renders it thus: “And give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” Give thanks in everything or in all circumstances; give thanks whatever happens. This is what God wants from you. He doesn’t want grumbling or complaining, which doesn’t solve any problem but only compounds or complicates it.
Maintain an attitude of gratitude in every circumstance. You are not thanking God for a bad or ugly situation, but for keeping you alive despite the road accident, for taking care of you despite the job loss, for surrounding you with loyal, selfless, and compassionate people in your time of need, for not allowing you to die but making you recover from your illness, and so on.
Things may not have gone the way you had thought or planned it this year, but all hope is not lost for you. Because you’re alive, you have another opportunity next year to achieve great things and even surpass your expectations. Look for the positives in your negative circumstances to thank God for. It could have been worse if not for God. Thank God whatever happens.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (New King James Version). Give thanks to God whatever you do. If you get less than what you wanted, still give thanks to God. God can give you much more than that later or you may even realize later that you didn’t need what you wanted and what God gave you was what you actually needed. God knows what is right for you. Arise and begin to thank God. There are many things in your life to thank God for. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil.
In David’s Song of Thanksgiving recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36, he started by saying, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” (Verse 8 New King James Version). He continued with his thanksgiving and said in verses 34-35, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. And say, ‘Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise” (New King James Version).
Thank God whatever happens. The author of Psalm 107 says, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (verse 1 New King James Version). God is a good God and you should thank Him for being good and doing good. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (verses 8-9 New King James Version).
The psalmist continues in verses 21 and 31 to call on human beings to thank God, saying, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (New King James Version). Would you respond to the psalmist call and thank the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men, which includes you?
Also, the author of Psalm 136 emphasizes the need to thank God because He is good and His mercy endures forever. He says, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3 New King James Version). Again, he says in verse 26, “Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever” (New King James Version). Give thanks to the Lord.
Thank God whatever happens. Don’t only give thanks for yourself but also give thanks on behalf of others – your spouse, children, family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and so forth. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2 New King James Version). Don’t focus on yourself alone. Give thanks to God for others. Thank God whatever happens.
The psalmist says in Psalm 119:62, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments” (New King James Version). It is a good thing to thank God at midnight, morning, afternoon, evening, and night. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (Psalm 92:1-2 New King James Version). In other words, thank God always. Thank God whatever happens.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for not showing enough gratitude for all You have done for me. Thank You for my salvation and for upholding me in the Christian faith. Thank You, Father, for You are good. Thank You for Your mercy that endures forever, which has preserved me and my loved ones from being consumed. Thank you for all the answers to my prayers and for all I didn’t pray for that You’ve done for me.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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