Giving Thanks

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Ephesians 5:15-20

Giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 20)

Let’s be honest: it’s not easy to give thanks at all times and for everything. But Paul insists here that unceasing thanks is possible. An attitude of continuous gratitude should characterize the person who understands the Lord’s will (v. 17) and is filled with the Spirit (v. 18).

While we might get the idea of giving thanks at all times, how are we to give thanks for everything? For everything? Really? For Grandpa’s dementia and Aunt Susan’s lupus? For your best friend’s cancer and your sister’s divorce? For bad things happening to good people? As one commentator honestly put it: “Even if we may learn how to keep a thankful heart in all circumstances, it is not easy to see how one can be grateful for everything.” This, he continues, “presupposes a deep underlying faith that God can produce good out of even the most unpromising situation.”

Such a faith believes that God is both loving enough and powerful enough to bring good out of evil. But this we know he can do. We know it from the death and resurrection of Christ. The cross signals God’s loving desire to bring good out of evil. And the empty tomb tells us God is able to actually do it!


O God, give us faith to trust in you and thus give thanks at all times and for everything.