Torrey - Man -15.4- What should we give thanks for?

IV. WHAT SHOULD WE GIVE THANKS FOR? Luke 2:27-28 — "And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God..." Luke 2:36-38 — "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem."

First Proposition: We should give thanks for Jesus Christ.

As all our blessings center in Him and come through Him, our thanks to God will be for Him. <19A301> Psalm 103:1,3 — "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name .... Who forgiveth all thine iniquities."

Second Proposition: We should give thanks for forgiveness of iniquities. Romans 7:24-25 — "0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (See context.)

Third Proposition: We should give thanks for deliverance from the power of the law of sin and death. <19A303> Psalm 103:3 — "Who healeth all thy diseases."

Fourth Proposition: We should give thanks for the healing of our diseases. (Compare to the lepers in Luke 17:15-18.) 1 Corinthians 15:57 — "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (See context.)

Fifth Proposition: We should give thanks for victory through our Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death and the grave. 1 Peter 1:3 RV — "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Sixth Proposition: We should give thanks for a new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Christ. Colossians 1:12 — "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."

Seventh Proposition: We should give thanks for being made suitable to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. 2 Corinthians 1:3 4 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

Eighth Proposition: We should give thanks for comfort in all our tribulations. John 11:41 — "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me."

Ninth Proposition: We should give thanks for answered prayer.

Every answered prayer should be met by definite thanksgiving to God. We never forget to thank anyone but God for granted requests. Daniel 2:23 — "I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter."

Tenth Proposition: We should give thanks for wisdom and might. 1 Timothy 1:12 — "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

Eleventh Proposition: We should give thanks for being enabled for service. 1 Timothy 4:3 — "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

Twelfth Proposition: We should give thanks for food.

It is remarkable how frequent are the references in the New Testament to thanksgiving for food. Over and over again attention is called, in the brief record of the life of Christ, to His returning thanks for food — even when it consisted of five cheap barley loaves and two small fishes for a great company ( John 6:23). 1 Corinthians 14:18 — "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all."

Thirteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for spiritual gifts. Acts 28:15 — "And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and the three Taverns; whom when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage."

Fourteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for Christian companions and fellowship. Romans 6:17 — "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."

Fifteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for the conversion of others. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 — "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."

Sixteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for the elect and their salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:4 — "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ." (See context.)

Seventeenth Proposition: We should give thanks for the grace bestowed upon others. Romans 1:8 — "First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." Ephesians 1:15-16 — "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers." Colossians 1:3-4 "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which ye have to all the saints." 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 — "We give thanks to God for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God and our Father." 2 Thessalonians 1:3 RV — "We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth." Philippians 4:5 — "I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints."

Eighteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for the love, faith, and "patience of hope" of others.

This seems to have been one of Paul's most frequent occasions for thanksgiving. Whenever he heard of the faith and love of an individual or church, his heart seems to have gone out at once in thanksgiving to God. 1 Thessalonians 3:8-9 — "For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God."

Nineteenth Proposition: We should give thanks for the steadfastness of the love of others. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 — "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

Twentieth Proposition: We should give thanks for believers who receive God's Word for what it is. 1 Timothy 2:1 — "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men."

Twenty-first Proposition: We should give thanks for all men. Philippians 4:6 — "Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Ephesians 5:20 — "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Twenty-second Proposition: We should give thanks in everything and for all things.

QUESTION: How can we?

ANSWER: Refer to Romans 8:28 — "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose." There is no greater, nor more simple secret of a life of uninterrupted and ever-increasing joyfulness, than rendering thanks for all things. Our disappointments become "His appointments," our sorrows become joys, and our tears become rainbows.