There is a popular quote often found on bookmarks and posters, “Faith makes all things possible. Hope makes all things work. Love makes all things beautiful. May you be blessed with all three!” A quote obviously originating from that wonderful verse, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13, NIV) When we truly believe that God is sovereign, and that all things are possible through Him, there must naturally burst out from us a spontaneous response of praise and thanksgiving. However, isn’t it hard in life’s journey to always be praising and worshiping God, or is it?
Paul, especially in his latter years, lived a life that none of us would voluntarily choose to follow. In a prison that was probably cold, dark, and cramped, not knowing whether each new day would be the last of his earthly life, we read in several of the Pauline letters the terrible conditions that Paul experienced as Christ’s ambassador. Yet, even in these terrible situations, Paul’s response is one of rejoicing, praise and thanksgiving. From his prison cell in Rome. Paul writes, ““Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).
Would you and I respond like that today, always giving thanks for everything—no matter the circumstances! Praise, joy, and thanksgiving for Paul was not a once-a-week celebration, but a surrendered life that daily worshiped a God who had transformed his life, and made him joyful in every situation. Praise and thanksgiving to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive characteristics of the authentic Christian. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this IS God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess 5:16, NIV).