MIF 18:5 (Sept-Oct 1986)


Arthur F. Wilder

“Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

While it is a custom in both the United States and Canada to set aside one day a year to reflect on the many blessings we have received, the grateful spirit should not be turned on and off like the pages of a calendar. Giving thanks is one of the great privileges and responsibilities of the Christian and should be part of our daily life, in adversity or prosperity, in sickness or health. Some of our greatest spiritual blessings develop by rendering thanks for our calamities.

The Bible abounds in examples of expressed gratitude and we can well learn from Biblical characters the importance of a grateful heart. David shows the urgency of giving thanks in many Psalms. Jonah gave thanks to God from the bottom of the sea for preserving his life. Thanksgiving is a constantly recurring theme in Paul’s letters with emphasis on the importance of a grateful heart in the life and prayers of the child of God. Daniel thanked God for wisdom and might (Daniel 2:23). Our Lord gave thanks to His Father for the way He had revealed the Gospel to men, not by intellect but by faith (Matthew 11:25).

In view of these Biblical examples, how can we neglect to render to God our prayerful thanks for the many temporal and spiritual blessings we have received at His hands? We are particularly blessed by knowing how and when and to whom our thanks should be rendered. So let us follow the Apostle Paul’s appeal without ceasing. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”