So, whatever may come my way, good or bad, I equally tackle it, always giving thanks to God, Who granted me unlimited faith in Him, and Who helped me so that, ignorant as I am, I might in these final days dare to undertake this work, so holy and so wonderful.
- Patrick, Confession, Latin, 5th century
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4.6, 7
…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- 1 Thessalonians 5.18
We should not underestimate the power of thanksgiving. The simple gesture of giving thanks can unleash within you spiritual power for peace and contentment, and strength for being an agent of grace.
In every situation, no matter how delightful or dire, our first response should always be thanksgiving. In times of joy we give thanks to God, thus acknowledging that every good and perfect gift comes from Him, including every circumstance and moment of our lives (Jms. 1.17). We recognize that we deserve nothing of good from Him, but that He surrounds and sustains us with good things, far more than we ever fully consider. Giving thanks for God’s blessings is right and good, and firms up faith and love toward Him. We can always find something for which to give thanks to God, thus bathing our soul with peace, and fortifying our next steps with faith.
But let us also give thanks to the Lord whenever we must tackle doubt, fear, trouble, or anxiety. By giving thanks at such times, we acknowledge that God is sovereign in all things, does all things well, and works all things together for good to those who love Him. By giving thanks, we may tap into His peace in the midst of our tumult. We may not always feel thankful for the conditions of our lives, but we can always give thanks in them. Giving thanks, even when we don’t feel thankful, is an act of faith, and faith pleases the Lord, and opens the spigot of grace, bathing the soul in peace, and fitting us to minister grace to others in times of need.
Thanksgiving is the leading edge of genuine faith; it is the will of God for us at all times, and in all things. Wherever we give thanks, growth in grace occurs. The peace of God, in which we find rest, contentment, hope, joy, and security in the Lord, is the immediate fruit of thanksgiving. When the peace of God floods our souls, our heart is guarded from unwise, hasty, or sinful affections – such as anger, vengefulness, resentment, fear, or hatred. Peace oozes from grace, and flows grace toward others, even perhaps those who are causing us outward distress.
Similarly, our mind, under the influence of God’s perfect peace, is kept from wicked thoughts – plotting and scheming, hateful ideas, doubts, and so forth. Giving thanks in all things unleashes power to reorient our mind, which, in turn, affects our words and deeds. Patrick found the strength to pursue his ministry, in the most daunting of situations, by giving thanks. We can continue to serve God daily on the strength of thanksgiving as well.
The peace that Jesus left us can enable us to overcome every adversity, every trial (Jn. 16.33); but that peace is only available through thanksgiving. Those who will not give thanks to God and find the peace He gives, will seek their wellbeing in other things, and thus create idols that can deceive, distract, and destroy us (cf. Rom. 1.21-23). Thinking that our peace depends on circumstances favorable to us, we will whine, complain, connive, or contrive to achieve those circumstances, even if it means we rob others of their peace and withhold from them the grace God wants them to know. Giving thanks keeps the focus of our heart and mind where it ought to be, and can prevent us from drifting away from our salvation (Heb. 2.1-3).
Do not doubt the power of genuine thanksgiving – not being thankful, necessarily, but giving thanks as an act of obedience and trust. And giving thanks, and giving thanks, and giving thanks, until the key of thanksgiving opens the vault of peace and God fills you with His presence and joy. Then you’ll feel thankful, and your thanks will increase in a glorious upward spiral of peace and joy.
God will meet you in the thanksgiving solution, and His peace will strengthen your soul.
Before you head out into your Personal Mission Field each day, give thanks to God – for the work you have ahead of you, the people you’ll encounter, and the peace and power He is even now preparing for you as needed. Then take thanksgiving with you throughout your day, and you will know the presence of God for peace and strength in everything you do.
1. What can you give thanks for right now?
2. How can you bring more thanksgiving into your day?
Psalm 105.1-5, 45 (Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Give thanks unto the Lord Most High; call on His Name, before Him cry!
Make known His deeds in every land; sing praise for all the works of His hand.
Glory in God, rejoice in heart, all you who seek His holy part.
Him and His strength and presence seek; His works proclaim, His judgments speak.
So let us all in our Savior confide, and in His holy Law abide.
Let us observe His glorious Word, and praise our sovereign, faithful Lord!
Teach me always to give thanks, O Lord, so that I might...
As you pray…
Would you prayerfully consider helping The Fellowship? Take a few minutes today and ask the Lord whether He would have you share with us regarding the financial needs of this ministry. God supplies all our needs, and He does so through friends who share our vision and benefit from our ministry. It’s easy to give to The Fellowship of Ailbe, and all gifts are, of course, tax-deductible. You can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT, 05495.
T. M. Moore, Principal
All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Da Paor, p. 102.