1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Exemplary Thanksgiving1 Thessalonians 5:18
Grounds for ThankfulnessJ. Hamilton, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Reasons for ThankfulnessJ. L. Nye.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thankfulness1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thankfulness and UnthankfulnessChristian Age1 Thessalonians 5:18
ThanksgivingA. T. Pierson, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanksgiving to GodS. Ward.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanksgiving with PrayerThe Christian1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Duty of ThankfulnessJ. Hamilton, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Duty of ThanksgivingT. Croskery 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Faculty of ThankfulnessH. W. Beecher.1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Habit of ThankfulnessJ. A. Broadus, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Perpetual Thanksgiving of a Christian LifeE. L. Hull, B. A.1 Thessalonians 5:18
UnthankfulnessJ. Hamilton, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Closing ExhortationsB.C. Caffin 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
ExhortationsR. Finlayson 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
A Trinity of PrivilegesT. G. Horton.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
A Triple CommandmentH. Smith.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Cheerfulness in God's ServiceG. Dawson, M. A.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Christian JoyH. W. Beecher.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Christian RejoicingJ. Hamilton, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Happiness in All CircumstancesJ. F. B. Tinling, B. A.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreR. S. Barrett.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreW. M. Hawkins.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreI. Barrow, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice Evermore1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreB. Beddome, M. A.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreD. Thomas, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice Evermore1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice EvermoreA. S. Patterson, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoicing According to Individual CapacityBilly Bray.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Duty and the Means of CheerfulnessR. W. Dale, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Pleasantness of ReligionJ. W. Diggle, M. A.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Three Universal ExhortationsW.F. Adeney 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is the natural fruit of joy as it is the natural accompaniment of prayer. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."


1. It is a mark of the wicked that they have no thankfulness. They who glorified not God "neither were thankful" (Romans 1:21). It is a sign of the antichristian apostasy that men "shall he unthankful" (2 Timothy 3:2). Since "every good gift and every perfect gift" comes from the Father of Lights, the guilt of such ingratitude is great.

2. It is the mark of the saints in heaven that they are full of thanksgivings. (Revelation 19:6, 7; Revelation 7:12.)

3. It is likewise a mark of the saints on earth. "Blessed are they which dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee" (Psalm 84:4). They abound in faith with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7). They offer sacrifices of thanksgiving (Psalm 116:17). They habitually offer thanksgiving (Daniel 6:10).


1. For the supply of our bodily wants. (1 Timothy 4:3, 4.)

2. For the gift of Christ. (2 Corinthians 9:15.)

3. For the goodness and mercy of the Lord. (Psalm 106:1.)

4. In all circumstances of prosperity and adversity, joy and sorrow, health and sickness. Job could say in the depth of his affliction, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" (Job 1:8, 20, 21).

III. THE GROUND AND REASON OF THIS DUTY. "For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." The Scripture as well as the light of nature directs to it, as it sets forth that "good and perfect and acceptable will of God," "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me." In Jesus Christ is this will revealed and made effectual; for all God's mercies reach us through the channel of his mediation. Therefore we "are to give thanks unto God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17); therefore "by him let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Hebrews 13:15). - T.C.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you
The duty and privilege of praise are not appreciated. Worship — ascribing worth to God and describing His worth — is in His Word the leading feature, as in modern days it is the least feature of the assemblies of saints. Worship implies a thankful frame. Nothing left outside of the range of this injunction, because to a true believer all things work together for good. Compare Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17.

I. It is THE FRUIT OF FAITH. Natural gratitude is the natural pleasure felt in prosperity; gracious gratitude blesses God, like Job in adversity, because of faith in His wisdom and goodness.

II. It is ONE OF THE FOREMOST OF BLESSINGS, and parent of all other graces. So says Cicero. It disposes to contentment in all conditions, and puts a bridle on desire.

III. IT FINDS BLESSINGS as a magnet finds steel.

IV. IT FITS FOR GREATER BLESSINGS. God gives more abundantly where previous gifts are properly valued (Psalm 50:23). said "There is but one calamity — sin"; and after many sorrows died, exclaiming, "God be praised for everything!"

(A. T. Pierson, D. D.)

I. TO WHOM MUST WE GIVE THANKS? Only to God: because (Psalm 100:4) —

1. It is only by Him we are preserved from evil (Psalm 121:7).

2. It is only from Him that we have anything that is good (James 1:17).

3. He only is good in Himself (Psalm 107:1; Psalm 136:1; Luke 18:19).


1. By a humble confession of our own unworthiness (Genesis 32:10; Ephesians 3:8), through sin (Psalm 51:5; 1 Corinthians 15:9), and our abuse of God's mercies (Jude 1:4).

2. By a humble acknowledgment of Him in all we have (Proverbs 3:6). His power (Psalm 135:1, 6); goodness (Psalm 145:1, 2, 9); mercy (Psalm 136:1-3).

3. By admiring Him in all we have, and praising (1 Chronicles 29:12, 13).

4. By improving all for His glory (Proverbs 3:9).

5. By walking before Him in all well pleasing (2 Timothy 1:3).

III. WHAT MUST WE THANK HIM FOR? For all things (Ephesians 5:20).

1. Our mercies.(1) Spiritual.

(a)His sending Christ to die for us. (Luke 2:14).

(b)His quickening Spirit (2 Corinthians 9:15).

(c)His gospel (Matthew 11:25)

(d)His restraining grace (1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 7:25).

(e)His renewing and sanctifying grace.

(f)His comforts (Psalm 147:1-3).

(g)His ordinances.(2) Temporal

(a)Creation (Psalm 95:6; Psalm 100:1-3).

(b)Preservation (Acts 17:28)

(c)Provision (Psalm 147:7-9 1 Timothy 6:17).

(d)Health and strength (Psalm 18:32).

(e)Gifts and parts (1 Corinthians 14:18).

(f)Life and liberty.


2. Our afflictions (Job 1:21).(1) Because they are not so great as we have deserved (Ezekiel 9:13).

(a)Not spiritual (Psalm 147:20).

(b)Not eternal (Lamentations 3:39).(2) Because they are still mixed with mercies.(3) Because they are really spiritual mercies (Romans 8:28; Hebrews 12:10).

(a)For the deadening of our sins (Job 36:8-10).

(b)For the quickening of our graces (Psalm 119:67).Uses —

1. Reproof.(1) To such as never think of that God who gives them all things to enjoy (Psalm 10:4).(2) Who think upon Him, but are not thankful to Him.(3) Who thank Him with their mouths, but not their hearts (Colossians 3:16).(4) Who thank Him for some things but not for all (Ephesians 5:20).

2. Exhortation. Be thankful. Consider —(1) This is all the requital God expects, or you can give (Psalm 50:10, 14; Psalm 69:30, 31).(2) You cannot expect a blessing on your mercies except you are thankful.(3) The more thankful you are for mercies received, the more ground you have to expect more.

(Bp. Beveridge.)


1. Some are very selfish. Unless the blessing alight on their actual self it matters not where it comes down. They cannot joy in the graces of their brethren. There are some so grievously selfish that they take as matters of right and of course every good and perfect gift, and regard the withholding of them as a personal injury.

2. Others are remarkable for peevishness. There is an ingenious fretfulness, dexterous in detecting flaws, industrious in embittering its own comfort, and wearisome by its pertinacious fault finding. If the house be commodious, the situation is bad: if a friend be kind, he doesn't see you often enough; if a book be otherwise good, there is a word or two you don't like.

3. Many are unthankful from inadvertency. They are surrounded with blessings, but from pure heedlessness they do not perceive from whom they have issued. Gratitude does not depend on the amount of mercies received, but on the amount known and prized.


1. Personal salvation. We have all felt the glow of returning health; but what is this compared to the joy of salvation.

2. The Bible. How thankful the Psalmists were for the scanty portion of the Word of God possessed by them: how much more grateful should we be for a completed revelation.

3. Devout and congenial society. Who can estimate the blessings of friendship; and if your friend has gone to God, few mercies call for more thankfulness than a friend in heaven.

4. Mercies in the disguise of affliction. These are topics which give scope for the holy ingenuity of loyal saints. "In everything," because "all things are working together for good."


1. It should occupy a prominent place in devotion whether secret or social.

2. Recount God's mercies to others. In this way you will quicken your own soul to increasing fervour, and kindle the gratitude of others.

3. Sing praises. Few things are better fitted to dispel the evil spirit of censoriousness, selfishness, and sullenness than heart-sung hymns of thanksgiving.

4. Embody your gratitude in offerings of thankfulness. These are the only oblations for which room is left in our new economy.

(J. Hamilton, D. D.)

We hear a great deal of the power of habit. I know there is power in good habits. Is there any in evil habits? Are good habits the greatest blessing in our life? One half of the best work performed by us is done largely through sheer force of habit. When a person is learning to play the piano, he or she goes over the keys awkwardly, and with difficulty, but soon becomes a good player through the force of habit. A man doing something that he is accustomed to will stand well the cares and anxieties which daily burden his mind. But put him at something which he knows nothing about, and they would kill him. Good habits enable one to resist temptation. The only way to conquer evil habits is to put good ones in their place. How often men discard their evil habits, but put nothing in place of them! The bad habits soon return like the unclean spirits of the parable. I wish to speak of the habit of thankfulness.

I. THE VALUE OF SUCH HABIT. It helps us to quell the repining over the ills of life. There is an old story of a young man who was walking along a road, full of life, but very poor, when, observing a carriage driven by containing an old man, he began to repine, saying; "Oh, what a life I lead! Just look at the genuine, quiet comfort enjoyed by that old man; Oh, that I were in his place!" The old man looked out of the window at the same time and sighed: "Oh, that I had the youth and strength of that man with all his splendid possibilities, I would give everything that I possess." Now the habit of thankfulness secures us against all this. A child will give thanks to anyone who may make her a present of any kind, and shall we not return thanks to God for what He has given us? Some of us may have sore troubles; but when you remember the Lord's goodness and His consolations, you are able to bear them. Paul and Silas sang praises in prison. That's the way to do. Sing praises under all the ills of life. The Christian idea is to charge upon these ills.

II. THE HABIT OF THANKFULNESS LEADS TO DEEPER PENITENCE. Repentance is the soundest, truest, and most acceptable thing in the eyes of God. All true penitence takes account of God's goodness, and incites cheerfulness and thankfulness to God.

III. WE OUGHT TO BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING PAINFUL AS WELL AS PLEASANT. "In all things." We can always be thankful that a thing is not worse. If it were worse it would be no more so than our sins make us deserve. When trouble comes over us, we learn to appreciate that as a blessing which is gone. A man does not know the blessing of good health until he loses it.

(J. A. Broadus, D. D.)

I. THE DUTY ENJOINED. Give thanks —

1. With the soul (Psalm 103:1, 2).(1) With the understanding, which weights the value of the benefit conferred.(2) With the memory, which stores up the remembrance of benefits received.(3) With the affections, by which benefits are warmly embraced.

2. With the voice: otherwise thanks will be buried. How many aids and witnesses did David summon to assist him in this duty; the mountains to leap, the floods to make a noise, etc. Nature and art have found out many helps and signs — bells, musical instruments, feasting, etc. Yet these are but poor and senseless sacrifices performed by unreasoning deputies, if thanks have no more significant expression; and cheer of the countenance, bodily gestures, dancing, are dumb shows. But by speech one man's heart conveys to another the cheery conceptions and passions of the soul, and so multiplies praise and sets on others to bless God with him.

3. With obedience, which God prefers to all our sacrifices. He that in the way of thankfulness bows and performs the mortification of one sin, the addition of one duty, pleases God better than Solomon with all his beeves and sheep. The life of thankfulness consists in the lives of the thankful; otherwise it is but as one who should sing a good song with his voice and play a bad one with his instrument.


1. God will be praised in all His creatures whereof we have the sight or the use; for every one of us have no less benefit by the sun and air, than if we saw or breathed alone.

2. In all the works of His provident administration — public blessings — our country's good.

3. In all personal favours. Every man that sees another stricken and himself spared is to keep passover for himself.

4. In all crosses, counting it an honour to suffer for Christ's sake.

5. In all gifts: temporal or spiritual, and, above all, for Him who is all in all.

6. In all times and places.

III. THE SUPREME MOTIVE. "This is the will of God." A sufficient answer to the foolish question "What addition shall I make to His honour who is self-sufficient?" God's will has binding authority enough, but the winning word is added, "In Christ." "I have so loved you as to give My Son; the return I expect and will is your thanks." An ingenuous child desires to know only what his father loves, and a grateful courtier only the pleasure of his sovereign.

(S. Ward.)

These words form the last of a series of apparently impossible precepts — perpetual joy, perpetual prayer, united in a life of perpetual thanksgiving. Of course these do not refer to acts, but to a state of heart. Yet even then the difficulty is not removed, for toll and rest, success and failure, events that cheer or overshadow, are all to be received not only submissively but thankfully, and so are the tremendous sorrows which shatter the human heart. How can this precept be obeyed?

I. ITS DIFFICULTY. Why do we not trust God sufficiently to thank Him in every lot in life?

1. One source of the difficulty lies in the constant changes in the soul's life produced by temperament and circumstances. There are periods when it is comparatively easy to be thankful — days of sunshine when bare existence is a joy — times of sorrow, too, when we can trace the hand of love — hours of meditation when we get some deeper vision into the Divine meaning of life. But there are other periods when thanksgiving is the hardest task — days of dreariness, coldness of spirit, doubt.

2. But apart from this there are two sources of difficulty which are permanent.(1) Our fancied knowledge of life. We think we can tell what are great mercies, Whereas that which we pass by as a trifle or shudder as at a calamity maybe heaven's greatest blessing in disguise. Constantly we are taught our ignorance, yet constantly we assume to know. Experience has revealed to us that what the child would have chosen the man passes by; and as we pass on in life we learn that the brightest rainbows of hope spring from the darkest clouds of trouble; and that in the deepest valleys of humiliation grow the fairest flowers of faith and love. Yet we forget the lesson, and fancy that we understand all.(2) Unbelieving distrust of God.(a) We are afraid to recognize His presence everywhere, acting through every little force in nature and through every trifling change in our careers.(b) When we do discern the hand of God we are afraid to trust Him perfectly. In our submission we are tempted to bow to a kind of awful will that must have its way, rather than to believe that what God has chosen for us is most wise, just, and kind.

II. THE MOTIVE. God's will is so revealed in Christ that, believing in it, we can give thanks in all things. Christ showed —

1. That life was the perpetual providence of the Father. "Not a sparrow falleth." "Behold the lilies." His life was a ceaseless illustration of this. He went through the world whether men took up stones to stone him or shouted their hallelujahs, equally fearless as though He was sublimely safe, till His work was done. Realize that as true of your life, and if every moment and trifle of our history are under the Father's providence, for what shall we refuse to be thankful!

2. That that providence is a discipline of human character. Christ's teaching and life show us that not getting more, but being greater; not pleasure, but holiness; not success, but heaven is God's purpose in disciplining the life of men. The learning "obedience by the things which He suffered" was the end for which the Father's providence led the Divine man. And so with us.

3. That the discipline of life is explained by eternity alone. The life of Jesus, apart from the eternal glory which crowned it, seems only a failure and a mystery; and the Father, who ordained for Christ His strange dark way, is leading us by a way that must be dark till death lift the veil. We know not what we need for heaven's splendour, but know this that "the great multitude" have come out of great tribulation.


1. It is not to be reached by a single resolution, or in a day by an outburst of excited feeling. We may say sincerely, henceforth I resolve to trust God in everything. But little vexations soon shake our trust; greater troubles break down our resolution; the emotion has declined, and we say, "No man can be always thankful."

2. It is the gradual result of a life of earnest fellowship with God — a life that in daily meditation realizes the presence of the Father; that by prayer feels the reality of God's love — that comes at length to walk through all toils and temptations under a deep sense of the all-surrounding God.

(E. L. Hull, B. A.)

If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it, and how it would draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction! The unthankful heart, like my fingers in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings; only the iron in God's sand is gold.

(H. W. Beecher.)

The Christian.
A child knelt at the accustomed time to thank God for the mercies of the day, and pray for His care during the coming night. Then, as usual, came the "God bless mother and —" But the prayer was stilled, the little hands unclasped, and a look of sadness and wonder met the mother's eye, as the words of helpless sorrow came from the lips of the kneeling child, "I cannot pray for father any more." Since her lips had been able to form the dear name, she had prayed for a blessing upon it. It had followed close after her mother's name. But now he was dead. I waited for some moments, and then urged her to go on. Her pleading eyes met mine, and with a voice that faltered, she said, "Oh, mother, I cannot leave him out all at once; let me say, 'Thank God that I had a dear father once,' so I can still go on and keep him in my prayers." And so she still continues to do, and my heart learned a lesson from the loving ingenuity of my child. Remember to thank God for mercies past as well as to ask blessings for the future.

(The Christian.)

Christian Age.
At the dinner table in the cabin of a steamboat there sat a conceited young man, who thought he displayed his own importance by abusing everything placed before him. A clergyman present, remonstrated with him, but in vain. Even on deck he continued his complaints of the ill-cooked, unsavoury fare, until the clergyman thoroughly disgusted, turned away, and, walking toward the steerage, noticed an old man, in his home-spun and well-worn shepherd's plaid, crouching behind the paddle box, where he thought himself unobserved. He took from his pocket a piece of dry bread and cheese, and laying them down before him, reverently took off his blue bonnet, his thin white hairs streaming in the wind, clasped his hands together and blessed God for his mercy. In the great Giver's hands lie gifts of many kinds, and to the scantiest dole of this world's fare we oftentimes see added that richer boon — a grateful heart.

(Christian Age.)

Objects seem large or little according to the medium through which they are viewed. In the microscope, what a remarkable change they undergo! The humble moss rises into a graceful tree; the beetle, armed for battle, flashes in golden or silver mail; a grain of sand swells into a mass of rock; and, on the other hand, a mountain looked at through the wrong end of a telescope sinks into a molehill, and the broad lake contracts into a tiny pool. Even so, according as we look at them, with the eyes of self-condemning humility, or of self-righteous pride, God's mercies seem great or little. For example, a minister of the gospel, passing one day near a cottage, was attracted to its door by the sound of a loud and earnest voice. It was a bare and lonely dwelling; the home of a woman who was childless, old, and poor. Drawing near this mean and humble cabin, the stranger at length made out these words: "All this, and Jesus too! All this, and Jesus too!" as they were repeated over and over in tones of deep emotion, of wonder, gratitude, and praise. His curiosity was roused to see what that could be which called forth such fervent, overflowing thanks. Stealing near, he looked in at the patched and broken window; and there in the form of a gray, bent, worn-out daughter of toil, at a rude table, with hands raised to God, and her eyes fixed on some crusts of bread and water, sat piety, peace, humility, contentment, exclaiming, "All this, and Jesus too!"

I cannot enumerate all the sweet mercies for which you should be thankful — the personal mercies, a sound mind and a healthy body; restorations from sickness; preservations in imminent peril; a good education, abundance of books, and, perhaps, some leisure to read them; a competent share of the good things of this life, a home, food, raiment, occasional rest and recreation, the enlivening of a journey, and the enlightenment of travel. Family mercies: parents that were kind when you were helpless, and wise when you were foolish; the endearing associations of early days; the gentleness of kindred, who, if a little more remote, were scarce less tender than father or mother were; the amenities and joys of your present home; the household lamp and the household hearth, with all the fond familiar faces on which they shine; the voices which make blythe music in your dwelling; the lives which you have got back from the gates of the grave, and those glorified ones whom you would not wish to bring back; with all those numberless indoor delights, those visits of kindness, and advents of gladness, and solacements of sympathy which He, whose home was heaven, loved to witness or create in the homes of earth. Spiritual mercies: the Bible, the Sabbath, the house of prayer, the closet, the family altar, the great congregation, prayer meetings, communion seasons, psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, Christian friends; perhaps a conscience void of offence towards man, and at peace with God through Jesus Christ; perhaps a victory over some temptation; perhaps progress in some grace; perhaps answers to prayer; along with what may either already be your own, or may as assuredly be made your own, as the Bible is already yours — the Comforter, peace in believing, hope in dying, a joyful resurrection, a home in heaven, a blood-bought harp, the inheritance of all things. These are a few of His mercies; but oh! how great is the sum of them!

(J. Hamilton, D. D.)

King George, at the close of the Revolutionary War, in which he had lost thirty colonies, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving because of the return of peace. His chaplain said to him, "For what would your majesty have us give thanks? for the fact that you have lost thirteen of the brightest jewels of your crown?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Because we have added millions to our national debt?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Because tens of thousands of people of the same race and religion have been destroyed?" "No, not for that," said the king. "Why, then," insisted the chaplain, "and for what shall we give thanks?" "Thank God," said the king, with great vehemence — "Thank God, because matters are no worse."

(J. L. Nye.)

Like the Caspian Sea, which has some unseen way of disposing of its waters, so that whatever rains come down, and whatever rivers flow in, its great gulf never fills, and never a rill runs out from it again; so there is a greedy, all-devouring selfishness, which, whatever rivers of pleasure flow into it, and whatever mighty bursts of heaven-descended bounty exhaust their fulness over it, always contrives to dispose of the whole in the caverns and subterraneous passages of its capacious egotism — the vast mare iternum of self, without one drop of overflowing in kindness to man or gratitude to God.

(J. Hamilton, D. D.)

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