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“In Everything Give Thanks?”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
November 20, 2016

A few years ago the London Times reported about the many letters that are sent to God from around the world. Many of those letters end up at the post office in Jerusalem in the undeliverable mail department.

“We have hundreds of thousands of letters sent either to God or Jesus Christ, and for some reason they come to Jerusalem,” said the post office spokesman, Yitzak Rabihiya. He told about one letter they opened that asked God for 5,000 shekels (about $1,000) to ease his poverty. His letter was moving enough that the postal workers took a collection and sent him 4,300 shekels. About a month later this same man sent another letter to God that again ended up in the Jerusalem post office. But this time he wrote, “Thank you, God, for the contribution, but next time please don’t send it through these postmen. They’re thieves; they stole 700 shekels.”

Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful. It’s hard to be grateful at all times.

But the Scriptures are filled with reminders of the necessity for being thankful. And one of the clearest and simplest exhortations is found at the end of the book of 1 Thessalonians. I am sure you’re familiar with the passage, but it is worth looking at again as we enter a season of Thanksgiving.

While addressing more than just the attitude of thanksgiving, Paul’s point is that —

Gratitude is always appropriate for the believer.

Here are three commands for every believer in every circumstance, and one reason these attitudes are so very important:

Context: The Environment for Cultivating Gratitude (vv. 12-15)

  1. Always Rejoice (v. 16)
  2. Without Ceasing, Pray (v. 17)
  3. Always Give Thanks In Everything (v. 18a)
  4. Why These Three Commands Are Essential (v. 18b)

Download the rest of this sermon from 1 Thessalonians 5.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.