“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
This matter of giving thanks always was so important in Paul’s theology, he repeats it three times. (1) “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” (2) “Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” and (3) “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 19-20).
Without faith we cannot do this as we ought. We are pressed down by so many problems and distresses. Of course God does not want us to fake it. It seems to me Paul has given us the key to it all when he tells us, “…do it unto the Father.” That great preacher John Calvin said that such singing and giving thanks always is all feigning and hypocrisy unless we are fully persuaded that God is our Father.
Our mouths quiver sometimes with grief so that we cannot sing; we do not feel like giving thanks. Dire circumstances shatter our spirits. There are times the heart cries, “Lord, do you really expect me to sing and make melody when I hurt so badly?” “Lord, I am so burdened down with cares, I can barely lift my head.” “Lord, I find it hard to praise and speak hymns in my heart. There is too much fear, grief and doubt.”
Yes, it is not easy to respond to this important truth. God is not severe with us when we hurt. We are his children. But these words are given us to find solace and relief in such times. We become so focused on our difficulties that we lose more than our song—we drift further and further away from God’s eternal promises. In spite of all we face, our Lord says, “GIVE THANKS ALWAYS.”
We become ungrateful for all he has done in the past. We get swallowed up in praying only for ourselves, our needs, our families—we cannot lift up our eyes to other’s suffering—suffering more than us.
I am truly convicted by this word from Paul. I want to face tomorrow determined to sing to my Lord and give thanks for an entire day—for all things—in all things. It may be an inaudible song; it may be weak at first; but there must be a power in doing it, by faith, or it would not have been repeated three times.
Oh that ten thousand reading this message would endeavor to sing along with me—what a joy it would bring to Father’s heart. Then, to follow it up by resting in the truth that God has heard your cry, he is working out the solution even now and every day—so go on giving thanks always and never stop singing love songs to our precious Lord and Savior.