It is the first day of summer. That’s not as big of a deal here as it has been in other places I have lived. After all, we have been enjoying summer type weather for a few weeks now. But I have to tell you this. When I lived in Michigan we gave thanks when the first day of summer rolled around. Sometimes we were still wearing light jackets. But we were grateful for the change.
As I consider that, I am reminded once again of the need to be thankful. I know that we have a day set aside late in November for the purpose of giving thanks. But an attitude of gratitude is appropriate all year round.
Paul wrote, "In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." Let’s look at that verse for just a moment and see if we can capture its full meaning. In the first place, Paul does not say to give thanks "for" everything, but rather "in" everything. That is a simple recognition that there are things in this world that are not good. We are not grateful for those things. But in the midst of them, we can still give thanks. Even when facing illness, economic troubles, and yes, even death, we can give God thanks for who He is and what He has done.
The second thing to notice in this verse is that Paul reminds us that giving thanks is God’s will. I have heard it said on more than one occasion, "The safest and most enjoyable place to be in all the world is in the center of God’s will." When you have an attitude of gratitude you can know that you are there. That has always been God’s will for His children.
The final thing to see here is that all of this is centered in the Lord Jesus. Paul often uses the phrase, "in Christ," or as here, "in Christ Jesus," in his letters. The idea is that the believer rests and lives "in Christ." That means that our lives are centered in Jesus. We recognize Him to be Lord and Savior over all things. We are never on our own, nor are we ever alone. We trust Him, follow Him, live for Him, and find meaning for life in Him. And then He gives us His love and protection.
As you enjoy the day, no matter the weather, can I encourage you to give thanks? As is often said, "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good." He deserves our thanksgiving. Have an attitude of gratitude today.