“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Those are the words I saw printed on a sign in a local retail store when I was on a shopping “mission” recently. The plaque was not on my list of needs, nor did I purchase it, but it did give me pause for thought. Scripture gives us a clear directive to “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Coming to the Lord with a genuinely grateful heart will set the stage for the praise that will naturally follow. We are to thank Him for everything. He has His purposes for what He allows or orchestrates in our lives. There may certainly be events and circumstances we would never choose, but the Word of God says that giving thanks in everything “…is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) We are to thank Him for everything. This includes seemingly negative things that come into our lives.
It is rather easy to express thanks for the more obvious gifts of family, friends, home, food, and health. The “little” things are so important, too: the unexpected smile from a small child; the encouraging letter that came in the mail; the never-before-tried recipe that didn’t fail. These are gifts, as well. It is, however, not so easy to say, “Thanks” for the stressful times, but we must, because God has a higher purpose. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Having thanked Him for His abundant provisions, it is important to praise His many attributes: love, mercy, might, holiness, and trustworthiness, to name a few. Prov. 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to worry. To the contrary, Matthew 6 reminds us that God knows our needs, and He will provide. That doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing but exist, but it does mean we are not to worry. In fact, “worry” should not be a part of the Christian’s vocabulary. There IS a difference between worry and concern. The Proverbs 31 woman had concerns which led to her wise actions. She did not fret, wring her hands in despair, or allow her emotions to overwhelm her. In other words, she did not worry. Instead, she demonstrated her trust in the Lord by wisely providing for her family and for the future. She proved to be a blessing to her husband, as well. Her trust in the Lord and her determined efforts, were fruitful.
Yes, long days of hard work can make us weary, but remember this truth, stated in Psalm 29:11: “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” That promise is for every believer.
Choose to be thankful every day.