"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV).
"Always give thanks for everything?" my friend Jim remarked with impatience bordering on anger. "How can I give thanks to God when my wife is dying of cancer? I would be a fool, and besides I don't feel thankful. My heart is breaking. I can't stand to see her suffer any more."
Jim was a Christian, but he had not yet learned how to appropriate the supernatural resources of God by faith. He had not heard that the Holy Spirit produces the supernatural, spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He did not know that the Holy Spirit was ready and eager to lift his load, fill his heart with peace and enable him to demonstrate a thankful attitude, even in times of heartache, sorrow and disappointment.
About the same time, I had a call from a beloved friend and fellow staff member, Bob. "I'm calling to ask for your prayers," he said. "My wife has an inoperable brain tumor, but we are trusting the Lord for a miracle. We are both thanking God, for we know He makes no mistakes and we are ready for whatever happens."
Bob and Alice were controlled by the Holy Spirit, responding as Spirit-filled persons are equipped to respond. Though God did not heal Alice's ailing body, He performed a greater miracle by providing the supernatural resources which enabled Bob and Alice to praise and give thanks to God as a powerful testimony of His love and grace in their behalf.
Today's Action Point
Knowing that "all things work together for good to those who love God" - and that includes me - I determine through the enabling of the Holy Spirit to obey God today as an expression of faith by thanking Him in everything and for everything.