“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom
through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit,
singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
Recently my son and his son went for a ride in a very expensive car belonging to a friend of mine. I had arranged the exciting date with the powerful car. My grandson is afflicted with the same passion for cars that my son inherited from me.
When we finished the all too brief ride, my son said to his son, “What do you say to Grandpa?” My grandson’s eyes shone in excitement as he said, “Thank you Grandpa.”
Most of us recognize that good manners always include expressing thanks for what we receive from others. If thanks is a good practice between us as humans how much more should we be giving thanks to our Father in heaven for our daily bread.
Our verse today suggests that all of our praise to the Lord ought to be wrapped in thanksgiving. We should always be in an attitude of thankfulness as we approach the Lord. In Ephesians 5:3-4 Paul contrasts the sinful use of the tongue with thanksgiving. In other words holiness is clearly linked to godly thanksgiving.
In Romans 1 there are several sins spoken of, and one of these great sins is a lack of thankfulness. Romans 1:21 (NIV) reads,
“For although they knew God,
they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,
but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
When people refuse to thank God for daily blessings He darkens their hearts and they become even more the children of darkness.
We ought to be grateful and thankful to God for all things. Even those things that are painful at the moment should be received with thanks. As the Psalmist said, Psalm 119:71 (NIV)
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”
Trials and tribulations work good in our lives and should thus be considered a blessing. Elizabeth Prentiss (1818-1878)—during a time of deep depression over the loss of two children—wrote the following verse.
“Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ to Thee; More love to Thee
Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me:
More love, O Christ, to Thee; More love to Thee.
We need to seek the blessed presence of the Saviour much more than the removal of the sorrows of life. Let the pain of suffering propel us into the presence of a loving Saviour and we will then learn to say thanks in all things.