What It Means to Give Thanks “Always”

Jan Lashbrook
Thanking God in spite of our circumstances, whether good or bad, is what faith is all about. This Thanksgiving, we can show our gratitude to Him by truly believing in His power and finding rest in it.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” —Luke 17:17
 
In Luke 17:11-19, we read the story of Jesus healing 10 lepers. Leprosy was a horrible disease that caused both physical and emotional pain, causing life-long separation from family, friends, and community. The lepers had to shout at people from far away because the disease was so contagious.
 
When Jesus was passing by, the 10 lepers shouted at Him to ask for mercy and healing. He immediately told them to go show themselves to the priest. The priest was the one who had to check the body to ensure that healing had actually taken place before they could enter the community again.
[W]e can’t wait until our problems are over to begin walking in faith, and we can’t put conditions on God.
The Scripture says that “as they went, they were cleansed.” In other words, they had to start down the road to the temple before they even knew if they would be healed or not. Their skin still looked just as mangled and infected as it had when Jesus spoke to them, but they believed Jesus, and they went to see the priest.
 
Incredibly enough, the passage goes on to say that out of the 10 cleansed lepers, only one, a Samaritan, came back to fall on his face and thank Jesus for his healing. Some powerful lessons come from this passage.
 
Verse 14 doesn’t say they knew they would be healed before they obeyed Jesus. They obeyed his directive, then were healed while walking. The truth is, we can’t wait until our problems are over to begin walking in faith, and we can’t put conditions on God.
 
God says, “Love Me in spite of your physical problems. Obey Me even though you don’t have the resources or means you think you need. Believe My Word is true, in spite of your depression. And Follow Me, even though you can’t see the way ahead clearly. Say NO to the temptation you are facing, even though it’s hard. Praise Me, even in the worst of circumstances.”
Are we illuminating our homes, neighborhoods, and communities with His truth and light because of what He has done for us?
Ten lives were changed forever that day, yet only one came back with a grateful heart to thank the One who had healed them. Maybe they got distracted by seeing their families for the first time in a long time. Maybe they felt healing was owed to them because they had suffered for so long. Maybe they intended to come back later but never did. Jesus didn’t command them to thank Him, but He expected their expression of gratitude.
 
What about us? Do we have a spirit of Thanksgiving for all He has done for us? Are we, with grateful hearts, taking the next action steps our Lord wants us to take? Are we illuminating our homes, neighborhoods, and communities with His truth and light because of what He has done for us?
 
We have all experienced His grace, truth, and mercy in our lives. For that, we are thankful. Let’s show Him evidence of our grateful hearts this season by believing that He will do what He says He will do, walking in faith and thanksgiving in spite of our circumstances, and taking that next action step that He’s called us to take, whatever it may be.
 
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. —1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

Jan Lashbrook is the Early Childhood Program Director at Calvary Christian Academy. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2016.
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