“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
Ephesians 5:20 (KJV)
How are you? As I mentioned last week, I thought it would be a nice idea to have a group of “thankfulness” posts this November, since we think of November as the month of thanksgiving. Last week’s post was on Psalms 105:1. You can read it here, if you haven’t already.
This week’s verse is Ephesians 5:20.
In Ephesians 5, Paul writes lists of things we should and shouldn’t do as Christians. One of those things that we should do is to give thanks to God, as we see in Ephesians 5:20. In the previous verse (Ephesians 5:19), we are called to do things such as “speaking to [ourselves] in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in [our} heart to the Lord;”. So, are these things suggested ways to “give thanks” to God or other things on the list of things to do?
How do you give thanks to God? I think that Ephesians 5:19 can be taken in both ways. I think that singing psalms and God’s praises can be one way that we give thanks to God. I think that any time we thank God, show Him appreciation, rely on Him, testify of His love, and give Him the glory; we are giving thanks to God.
Although, if we look closely, Ephesians 5:20 tells us more than to “give thanks to God”. It also tells us to give thanks “always” for “all things” unto God. Hmmm. Being called to “give thanks to God” might sound easy enough to do, especially as you are growing in faith and knowing that we have so much about which to give Him thanks. However, giving thanks “always” and for “all things” might sound more difficult.
So, are we called to say “thank you God for…, thank you God for…, thank you God for…, thank you God for…, every minute of every day about every thing that we experience whether it is good or bad? You might have a different perspective on it, but I think it is taking it too literally and out of context.
I think it is good to realize that we have so much about which to thank God, including for our life, skills, talents, world, friends, family, and so much more. It is good to realize that the things “we accomplish” and the things “we do” couldn’t be done without God. We are His creations and He has created us to be able to do the things we can do. So, yes, I think God wants us to learn to be humble and thank Him, giving Him the credit instead of taking the credit for ourselves. And, just as most of us would thank someone for a gift or a kindness, we are also called to thank God for gifts and kindnesses.
Okay. Being thankful often might be something we can learn to do. But… are we really called to give thanks for all the bad things we experience too? My thought? I think we remember that God doesn’t “give us” all the bad things. However, He does help us through them. And, He uses them as “teaching tools” and uses them to “help us grow closer to Him”.
So, I think we need to be thankful, even in difficult times. However, I think we need to watch what we say and how we say it. For example, if we have a car accident, I don’t think we would say, “thank you for this accident”. God didn’t make us or give us an accident. I think we would rather say something like, “thank you for helping me through this accident. Help me to be thankful that it wasn’t worse. Use it to help me get closer to you”.
There is one thing more that we are called to do in Ephesians 5:20. We are called to give thanks in Jesus’ name. I found a post by Pastor JD Greear that explains this part very well. Please, click here to read it.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for giving us your Son to be, not only our Lord and Savior, but also our ultimate role model and guide to you. Help us to heed your calling to give you thanks always and help us to do so no matter our circumstances. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Ephesians 5:20 (KJV):
*What does Ephesians 5:20 mean to me?
*How do I give thanks to God?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God always?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God in all things?
*Do I really have to give thanks for “bad things” too?
*What does it mean to give thanks to God in the name of Jesus?
*What other verse or verses remind me of Ephesians 5:20?
*How can I better heed the words in Ephesians 5:20?
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy one of these posts as well:
*How Does God Call Us to Speak?
*Psalms 13: Crying for Life Over Death
*3 Things We are Called to do in Psalms 105:1
Now, it is your turn:
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.