Strong spirits: why give thanks?

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Photo: Lars Plougmann

If I asked what you were thankful for, you'd have a list, wouldn't you. So would I. That's not to say I am always thankful for them. But I have a list.

I wonder how many things on your list or mine would be hard things, difficult things, things we wish hadn't happened, or people we wish were NOT in our lives. Are we to be thankful for those things, too?

We are. It has to do with trust. It has to do with remembering Who is in charge. It has to do with realizing what a very small part of the whole picture that we see.

"Pray without ceasing. Rejoice evermore. In everything give thanks. For that is the will of God for you." the apostle Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

"In everything" is not the same as "for everything". But I think the point is probably made that there should be a lot more on our list. And why? Why give thanks at all? It's an act of humility. It acknowledges our need. And it is the means to enter into God's presence.

"Enter his gates with Thanksgiving, and his courts with praise." (Psalm 100:4)

Want to get close to God? Start giving him thanks...

Are you grateful? In everything?

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear every Sunday - subscribe to our daily email so that you don't miss any.

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