Thanksgiving means the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
It’s good to give thanks to God in all things. As we round off this year, let’s take stock of all that has happened. Some of our expectations have been met but some haven’t manifested yet. Despite this, we should still have an attitude of thanksgiving always, particularly during this Christmas season. We usually look at the things we haven’t seen manifest yet and that causes us unhappiness. But what if we just go ahead to thank God from our hearts for where we are now and for the things he has already done. I believe, when we thank God for what we have (knowing fully well that a lot of people are not where we are now) we will see more of His blessings!
I remember when I had to do this. Thanking Him for the things I have and not complaining about them. It made God more real to me and I didn’t focus on the things I wanted anymore. God showed himself strong on my behalf and I got the desires of my heart.
Looking at Paul in Acts 16:9-26, he knew that he was meant to go to Macedonia because he saw it in a vision. In Macedonia, things happened and he was thrown in prison. Paul and Silas did not have a disgruntled attitude, rather he praised God, inspite of the situation.
Acts 16:9-26 KJV |  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.  Therefore, loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;  And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.  And on the sabbath, we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us : whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely:  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
We ought to thank God, not only in the good times, but in times when things are not exactly the way we want them. There is also a way to give thanks well.
You may ask how do I give thanks well then?
Looking at the scripture in 1st Corinthians 14:16-17, Paul is implying here that when you speak in an unknown tongues, you give thanks well. So when you don’t know what to say, you speak in other tongues glorifying the name of the Lord!
1 Thes 5:18 KJV | “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.
I Thes 5:18 AMPC | Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
I Thes 5:18 The Message (MSG) | Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
The scripture says that in everything , we should give thanks. We are to give God thanks knowing fully well that we can trust His word. Living our lives in this way of thanksgiving will surely cause us to triumph in God!
Dr Akunna Adejuwon is a doctor of Optometry who runs her private practice and has clinics in Abuja, Nigeria. She graduated from the charter class of Rhema Bible Training Centre Nigeria, in 2013 and is licensed & credentialed with Rhema Ministerial Association International Nigeria. She currently serves on the Executive Team of Rhema Nigeria as a Co-Director with her husband and they have 3 lovely children: Zoe, Sophia and Victor.