The power of giving thanks

What if we woke up today with the things with which we gave God thanks? This question would be a scary proposition for most people. We too often put our focus on the material things we don’t possess and complain about the valuable possession we have at hand. My wife asked the children at Sunday School this same question, followed by “What are the things in which you would thank God?” One little girl blurted out “my thumbs!” The observant child was not joking but had five-year-old practical reasoning. She could tell people with one hand how old she was. It would be more difficult to pick up things. Society can learn a few lessons from this little one. (Matthew 21:16)

What is the will of God? This question is often the most common question asked by people searching for answers to the toughest situations in life. The apostle Paul answers this question in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 by writing, “give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God.” The apostle Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, left for dead, thrown in prison and snake-bitten, yet he writes I give thanks in all things. Anger, grief, being sad, and being annoyed are all real emotions. However, our emotions are like children, we can not stuff them in the trunk, but we shouldn’t allow them to drive the car either. Emotions are temporary, but what we do with those emotions have life-impacting consequences.

When I was entering my second year of college, I volunteered to drive my sister to orientation. On the way there, a semi-truck hit the car I was driving. The tires of the truck’s trailer caught the front of the car. After a few miles, the truck spits our car out, and my sister and I ended up on the side of the road. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt, the semi kept driving. All I could think about was how I was going to tell my parents that their new vehicle was totaled. I will never forget the words that my father spoke to me that day, “Son, metal can be replaced, I am just thankful that you and your sister weren’t hurt.” He did yell at me, never once discussed how he was going to replace the vehicle, He truly was thankful that we were fine.

How much better would the world be if we did these three simple thinks

1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

2. Ephesians 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger

3. Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ [a]rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and [c]be thankful.

Remember what we do speaks louder than what we say. We should all show our thanks to God, not only during this season but every season.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)