By Patrick Hogan
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
The above reference is just one of many in Scripture that encourage Christians to have a positive outlook. As a matter of fact, the second admonition, "pray without ceasing," is one good reason to rejoice and to be thankful. Regardless of what happens we have the avenue of prayer by which we may communicate with the Father!
The third instruction, "in everything give thanks," may sometimes be more difficult to follow. There are some situations in which we find it difficult to be thankful. Perhaps an observation by commentator Matthew Henry can encourage us to be more thoughtful, and therefore more thankful, in those types of situations. When Henry discovered that he had been robbed, he entered the following in his daily journal:
I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.While we hear much about thanksgiving during the last weeks of each year, may we cultivate a constant attitude of thankfulness. As Christians we have much for which to give thanks.
- Patrick Hogan served for many years as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres Church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO. He passed away in 2018. The congregation's website address is: http://www.shadyacreschurch.com