Being Thankful When Times are Difficult, Desperate, Dire, Disappointing
i.e. Being Thankful in 2020
I. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18 directs us to give thanks in everything, as this is the will of God for us
A. Focus on the 1st 4 words
1. The preposition ‘IN’ makes it clear that it means location or place
2. The noun ‘EVERYTHING’ means all, as all situations, environments, conditions
3. The verb ‘GIVE’ is to freely transfer from self to another; implicating a release
and causing another to take control and possession
4. The noun ‘THANKS’ is an expression of gratitude which is often, but not
restricted to words; actions and posture and emotions are such expressions
B. So what this command is telling us is to express gratitude in all situations, environments, or conditions that we find ourselves in
C. What it is NOT telling us is to give thanks for the situation, environment or condition that we find ourselves in
II. What about giving thanks when there is a year like 2020 with pandemic, politics, social unrest, economic woes, civil distress?
A. We are not likely thankful for these events
B. We are, however, need to give thanks
1. To whom?
2. For what?
III. To give thanks when the situation is dire
A. It helps to know to whom we are giving thanks
1. Psalms136: 1-3
2. God who is good
3. Lord of lords
4. God of gods
5. God whose mercy towards us endures forever
B. For what are we thankful?
1. His mercy endures forever
2. For all that HE has done
3. For all that He is doing
4. For all that He is going to do
C. How do we give thanks? With words, songs, actions, posture and without an agenda or expectation or strngs attached…see giving definition above.
IV. How do we give thanks when we can’t
A. It is a choice – choose to, despite circumstances; that is a sacrifice…therefore a sacrifice of thanksgiving
B. Colossians 3: 15-17
1. Let (allow, chose to surrender to) the Peace of God rule in our hearts
2. be thankful for this
3. Let (allow, choose to surrender to) the Word of Chris richly dwelling in us
4. Singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord
5. Whatever we do in word or in deed, let it be done in the name
(under the authority of , being a representative of, being responsible to, responding to) Christ
6. Giving thanks to God through Lord Jesus
V. Habakkuk 3: 17-18
A. Know that Habakkuk is looking at a nation oppressed by unrighteous evil leadership
1. he complains to God about the bad guys prospering
2. God tells him that they will not go unpunished
3. Habakkuk sees that things will get worse for the people as God addresses the wickedness through captivity to Babylon
B. Yet, Habakkuk lets the people know that though things get worse with loss of harvest and shortage of food and loss of income:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
1. Hebrew word for rejoice is alaz (Strong’s Hebrew #5937) exuberant joy
jumping for joy, exulting triumphantly
2. Hebrew word for joy is giyl (Strong’s Hebrew #1523) to spin in overflowing
emotion expressing depth and strength of joy
C. Habakkuk has chosen to give, expressing, showing thanks to the God of his salvation in spite of the forecast of hardships and disruption of life. He will do this with physical action.
D. Perhaps when we don’t feel like giving thanks in a situation, we should get physical!
VI. I will remember it is God that I am giving thanks, regardless of my situation or the circumstance. Let the Peace of God rule in my heart; Let the Word of Christ richly dwell in me. I choose to give Him thanks with my word, my deed…with my song and with my body leaping for joy because HE is the GOD of my Salvation. Amen