“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It is reported that while taking a walk, the German mystic,  Johannes Tauler von Strassburg, met a poor man. “Have a good day,” said Tauler. “Praise God, I never have a bad day,” was the answer. “Then may God grant you a day filled with joy,” said Tauler. “Praise, God, my day is always filled with joy,” was the answer. “So, you never have a bad day, you are never unhappy? How is that possible?”

The poor man answered, “When the weather is fair, I am thankful. When it rains, I am thankful. When I am in a good mood and feeling fine, I am thankful. The will of God is my will. What He is pleased with, I am pleased with. Why should I say that I am not happy when that is not true?”

“Well,” said Tauler, “what if God were to cast you into hell?” “If He did that, I would throw my arms around Him and make Him come with me. I would rather be there with Him than anywhere else without Him. He is the reason I am always thankful.”

A thankful heart is pleasing to God. I have known believers who were in dire distress, and when God freed them from their calamity, they praised God and could not find words enough to thank Him and honor Him for His wonderful help. No doubt God is pleased with such an attitude, but I would like to go one step further.

We are obligated to give God thanks, not only when He has helped us out of all kinds of trouble but also in times when all is going well. It is then when we should guard our hearts and bring God praise for His goodness out of genuine thankfulness. If you have a business and you have successfully closed a profitable deal, does your heart overflow to God in thankfulness? Or do you give yourself credit for being a shrewd entrepreneur? If you have a job and get paid your salary or wages, do you thank God for His goodness, since He gave you health and the opportunity to work? Or do you feel that since you worked hard for your money, there is no need to thank anyone? If you are a homemaker, are you thankful that God gives you joy and the ability to provide for your family? Maybe God would not need to lead some people through times of trouble if they already possessed a thankful heart beforehand. 

Let us cultivate a heart of thankfulness towards God. The world shows less and less concern for the things of God, but as God’s children, let us all the more live thankful lives. It is certain that He will bless us for it, and His strong hand will lead us. We can then walk in His ways with confidence. Praise, thanks, and honor be unto God! “In everything give thanks!” It is the will of God that we be thankful in good times and also in bad times. God loves a thankful heart. 

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