“Can I share your table?” asked the man who approached Pastor H.A. Ironside in the crowded restaurant. Ironside invited him to have a seat, then, when the food arrived, he bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, “Do you have a headache?” Ironside replied, “No, I don’t.” The other man asked, “Well, is there something wrong with your food?” Ironside replied, “No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.” The man said, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!” Ironside said, “Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does too!”
We who are in Christ give thanks to our God. We are to be abounding in rejoicing and thanksgiving. Giving thanks is humbling and surrendering, acknowledging God’s hand and work in all aspects of our lives. He is the giver of all things: He brings victory, provides community, and qualifies us to share in His wonderful inheritance through new life in Jesus. He is worthy to praised and thanked, in all circumstances.
It is easy to give thanks when life is good, the table is full, the cupboards overflow, and health is rich. The Christian gives thanks even in the desert places, when the road is not straight. Habakkuk was a farmer and rancher, and he prayed, “Even though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no herd in the stalls, YET I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.” We must pray like Job in the midst of loss: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
In whatever you face this week, and month, and new year, let us be reminded to give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks with our whole heart, and give Him thanks due His righteousness and for the sake of His name.