Theology Thursdays: A richer Theology of Thanks

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” 1 Thess 5:18

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Most of us have much to be thankful for. Today, I as I reflected on what I am thankful for, I found that much (not all) of my appreciation for what God has done for me and given me were in the realm of favorable circumstances and material things (i.e. the basics to support a family). Whereas there is nothing wrong with this because we read that the blessing of the lord bring wealth, maybe we need to dig further to have a more Biblical framework for our thanksgiving.

Not all material blessings is necessarily as sign of God’s favor as seen in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Conversely, poverty does not imply Godliness although there is much instruction in the Word that relates to the poor.

So with all that in mind, on this Thanksgiving day, what are we to consider in our Thanksgiving? We are told to “give thanks in all circumstances”. Our circumstances change. Our material situation is in flux. Hence, our thanksgiving must go beyond our stuff. It must be deeper than where we are materially Yes, thank God for what you have, but your thanks should remain even when you don’t have it any more. Like Paul in Ephesian 1, let us begin to grasp Spiritual Blessings which remain despite our circumstances. If Spiritual Blessings ( like our predestination for adoption to Sonship, our possession of redemption through the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of sins, our inclusion in Christ and being marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.. and more) increasingly become the substance of our thanksgiving then we will be able to “give thanks in all circumstances” and we could confidently understand that to the the family of a young lady who passed away last week or the person in financial hardship or for the friend in ill health, it is actually possible (may not feel right of even appropriate but it is possible) to give thanks even today because in all circumstances, the Goodness of God still prevails for God cannot desires for us what he has not made possible in us.

This Thanksgiving day, and in all the days, weeks, months and year ahead, let your thanksgiving be increasingly laden with thanks for Spiritual Blessings that will not be affected by our circumstances.

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One Response to Theology Thursdays: A richer Theology of Thanks

  1. Prov. 10:22 does say the blessing of the Lord brings wealth; and that is why we need a larger biblical framework. For the blessings of the Old Testament, primarily those promised to Israel, include prosperity and fruitfulness in their promised land–if they obey God’s commands. In the New Testament, however, Jesus does not bless prosperity (as in the story of the rich man and Lazarus). Instead, the “spiritual blessings” you note above now take the place of the mostly “material blessings” of the O.T. Jesus can even tell his disciples: blessed are the poor (disciples), for yours is the kingdom of God.

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