1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I. SOME CHRISTIANS ARE NOT EMINENT FOR THANKFULNESS.
1. Some are very selfish. Unless the blessing alight on their actual self it matters not where it comes down. They cannot joy in the graces of their brethren. There are some so grievously selfish that they take as matters of right and of course every good and perfect gift, and regard the withholding of them as a personal injury.
2. Others are remarkable for peevishness. There is an ingenious fretfulness, dexterous in detecting flaws, industrious in embittering its own comfort, and wearisome by its pertinacious fault finding. If the house be commodious, the situation is bad: if a friend be kind, he doesn't see you often enough; if a book be otherwise good, there is a word or two you don't like.
3. Many are unthankful from inadvertency. They are surrounded with blessings, but from pure heedlessness they do not perceive from whom they have issued. Gratitude does not depend on the amount of mercies received, but on the amount known and prized.
II. MATERIALS FOR THANKFULNESS.
1. Personal salvation. We have all felt the glow of returning health; but what is this compared to the joy of salvation.
2. The Bible. How thankful the Psalmists were for the scanty portion of the Word of God possessed by them: how much more grateful should we be for a completed revelation.
3. Devout and congenial society. Who can estimate the blessings of friendship; and if your friend has gone to God, few mercies call for more thankfulness than a friend in heaven.
4. Mercies in the disguise of affliction. These are topics which give scope for the holy ingenuity of loyal saints. "In everything," because "all things are working together for good."
III. APPROPRIATE EXPRESSIONS OF CHRISTIAN GRATITUDE.
1. It should occupy a prominent place in devotion whether secret or social.
2. Recount God's mercies to others. In this way you will quicken your own soul to increasing fervour, and kindle the gratitude of others.
3. Sing praises. Few things are better fitted to dispel the evil spirit of censoriousness, selfishness, and sullenness than heart-sung hymns of thanksgiving.
4. Embody your gratitude in offerings of thankfulness. These are the only oblations for which room is left in our new economy.
(J. Hamilton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.