In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Why is it so important to give thanks to God in the good times and the bad; in the sunshine and in the rain?
Well, one reason is that life is a gift. Another reason is thanksgiving and praise are powerful weapons that help you to be an overcomer and winner in life (1John 5:4). This is true no matter what the obstacles or trials you face. Allow me to share a tremendous illustration of this reality.
Frances had what many would consider a tough, tragic, and troubled life. A doctor’s error left her at six weeks of age with lifelong blindness. Her father passed away when she was very young. She was raised by her mother and grandmother. Many in today’s world would believe Frances had plenty of reasons to be unhappy, depressed, and without hope.
However, in her autobiography, Frances June Crosby chose to write these amazing words, “It seemed intended by the blessed Providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation” (in other words “I thank Him for the gift of blindness!”).
The doctor who made the mistake later moved away. However, Frances wrote, “If I could meet him now, I would say ‘Thank you, thank you – over and over again – for making me blind.” Though many may conclude that living a life with blindness would be a sad, disappointing life, Frances considered it to be one of her greatest blessings. She considered her blindness to be a gift from God.
She said, “I could not have written thousands of hymns if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice.” By the way, many know Frances June Crosby so much better by the name Fanny Crosby, the great hymn and songwriter.
Fanny Crosby blessed the Church and the world with songs that include: “Blessed Assurance”, “To God be the Glory”, “Redeemed”, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”, and many others. She is a tremendous example of one who lived with a grateful spirit and with an attitude of gratitude. Having this attitude was a great blessing to her, and she, in turn, was a great blessing to the Church and to the world.
Make it your goal to thank God in all circumstances. For, even in tough times, God really does run our cups over in blessing in so many ways (Psalm 23:5).
Take time to thank and praise Him for His goodness. Don’t focus on the negative things in life. Focus on the blessings. It will change your whole outlook on life. Also, being grateful to God for His goodness will stir up joy. Be mindful too, that being genuinely grateful makes you instantly rich in the truest sense of the word.
Ask God to anoint you today with the Spirit of praise and gratitude.
Instead of complaining about the rain, thank God for watering His beautiful world for free.
Instead of complaining about not feeling well, thank God you are alive.
Instead of complaining about having to clean your house, thank God that you have a home to live in.
Instead of being impatient with family members, thank God for the gift your loved ones are to you.
Instead of complaining about your job, thank God that you have a job and an income.
Instead of complaining about the world, thank God for the opportunity to pray and help change the world to be a better place. Give thanks in all things. And do remember this: Being a genuinely grateful person will bless you tremendously.
Crosby lived out both the literal and biblical meaning of 2 Cor. 5:7, but by doing so obediently, she became an example of Col. 3:23 and gave her praise to God for thousands of tongues to sing.
Praise and thank God daily and often. Living life with an attitude of gratitude really is its own reward.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on The Stand in 2014. Some additional Scripture has been added.