In everything give thanks!
(Thomas Watson, "All Things for Good")
"We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
See what cause the saints have to be frequent in the work of thanksgiving! In this, Christians are defective; though they are much in supplication, yet they are little in thanksgiving. The apostle says. "In everything give thanks!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Why so? Because God makes everything work together for our good. We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us nauseated — because it is to make us well. We thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God — who makes everything work for good to us?
God loves a thankful Christian! Job thanked God when He took all away: "The Lord has taken away — blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it.
We read of saints with harps in their hands — an emblem of praise (Revelation 14:2). Yet we meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths! But there are few with their harps in their hands — who praise God in affliction.
To be thankful in affliction — is a work peculiar to a saint.
Every bird can sing in spring — but few birds will sing in the dead of winter!
Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity — but a true saint can be thankful in adversity!
Well may we, in the worst that befalls us — have a psalm of thankfulness, because God works all things for our good. Oh, be much in giving thanks to God!
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And did the Holy and the Just,
The Sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty worms might rise?
Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
His radiant throne on high,
(Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
To suffer, bleed, and die!
He took the dying traitor's place,
And suffered in his stead;
For man (O miracle of grace!)
For man the Savior bled!
Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In Your atoning blood!
By this are sinners snatched from Hell,
And rebels brought to God!
What glad return can I impart
For favors so divine?
O take my all, this worthless heart,
And make it wholly Thine!
Anne Steele, 1859