The Reason for Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
What would happen if you heard a knock at the door and the Publishing House Sweepstakes told you that you won a lot of money? How thankful would you be in comparison to how grateful you are at this moment? What makes a person thankful, reveals more about where their heart is than what a person says. David, the Psalmist, expressed, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds” (Ps. 9:1). What caused David to give such praise? The answer is clear, “I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (9:2); the name of the Lord.
Paul, writing a letter of praise and thanks to a church he started, seeks to encourage this church to overflow with love for others, to walk holy before the Lord, and to look forward to the return of Jesus Christ. What makes this letter significant is the persecution the church faced during the time of Paul’s prayers of thanksgiving to God (1:2-10; 2:13-16; 3:11-13). These believers had no extenuating circumstances to entice their giving of thanks, except, they received the words of Paul as the pure word of God (2:13).
What makes you break out in a song of thanksgiving? Paul offers some foundational reasons for our giving of thanks.
- Spiritual progress in believers – 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8
- Supporting prayer in behalf of believers – 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10
- The focus of the believer is now outward
- The fervor of the believer is upward