GIVING THANKS WELL
1Corinthians 14:17 NKJV: For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Here, we are instructed to give thanks well: the implication is that it is possible to give thanks BUT NOT TO DO SO WELL!
So, we need to examine what thanksgiving is and HOW to give thanks well.
Thanksgiving is the expression of our gratitude to God, using our thoughts, words and deeds.
To give thanks well, we MUST GIVE THANKS WITH ALL 3: THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.
Many Christians give thanks with their words, BUT NOT WITH THEIR THOUGHTS AND DEEDS!
Matthew 15:7-8 NKJV: Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: (8) ‘THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.
Matthew 15:8-9 AMP: These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. (9) Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men. [Isa. 29:13.]
To give thanks well, we need to understand that we thank God FIRSTLY, FOR WHO HE IS and secondly, for what He does.
Many Christians give thanks to God ONLY when they perceive He has done something for them; when they think God has not done anything or He seems to be delaying in action, they murmur and complain like the children of Israel:
Psalms 78:36-37 NKJV: Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; (37) For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
1Corinthians 10:5-6 NKJV: But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. (6) Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
1Corinthians 10:10-11 NKJV: nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (11) Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
We should give thanks to God for WHO HE IS:
Psalms 100:1-5 NKJV: A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! (2) Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. (3) Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (4) Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (5) For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Revelation 4:11 NKJV: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
So, we can thank God and rejoice EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL, KNOWING THAT GOD IS STILL GOD, NO MATTER WHAT.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 NKJV: Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Job 13:15 NKJV: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
So we thank God for WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE by our words:
Hebrews 13:15 NKJV: Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
And with our deeds (keeping our vows), like Hannah did when God blessed her with the birth of Samuel:
1Samuel 1:10-11 NKJV: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. (11) Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
1Samuel 1:23-28 NKJV: So Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word.” Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. (24) Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young. (25) Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. (26) And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. (27) For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition, which I asked of Him. (28) Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the LORD there.
Psalms 50:14 NKJV: Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High.