We all should have the same experience that we count everything but lost so that we can win Christ.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Always means at all times. If we haven’t forsaken everything, we won’t be able to rejoice in the Lord always or learn to be content in every situation. Paul wrote in prison at Rome that he’d learned to be content– satisfied in each situation (Philippians 14:11-13). He knew how to abound, to suffer loss, be hungry or well fed whether he was in prison or out.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
He was shackled in the prison and yet he was able to write this because he had this kind of experience.
Colossians 3:14-15 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
If we don’t put on charity or the love of God and let the peace rule in our heart, we’re not going to be thankful. We have to make sure our eyes are focused on things God wants us to focus on. It’s our decision.
Colossians 3:2-3 Set your affection on things above, not…on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ…
Sometimes we may not feel like being thankful. It doesn’t say give thanks if you feel like it but in everything. We have to choose being thankful no matter how we feel or what we’re going through. We have so much to thank God for. We don’t thank God because of our feelings or how we feel. We thank God because he has asked us to thank him.
“Thanking God Right Now, Author Unknown: Dear God I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards. I am thanking you right now. Why? Because God said in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better. I am thanking you right now. Rejoice in the Lord always. I’m not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me. I am thanking you right now. Why? Because God said let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. I’m not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears. I am thanking you right now. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed. I’m not going to wait until my financial situation improves. I’m going to thank you right now. My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I’m not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet. I am thanking you right now. Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever. I’m not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job. I’m going to thank you right now. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time. I’m not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief. I am thanking you right now. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s suffering, that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I’m not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking you right now. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Lord, I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because with your help I made it through today’s difficulties. I am thanking you because you carried me over obstacles. I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking you because of your love, because Father you didn’t give up on me.”
Thankfulness is the opposite of selfishness. A selfish person feels they deserve more than they get and are always expecting something they should have. They’re always unhappy and focused on their problems. God didn’t say focus on your problems. We focus on him, his strength, his help, his grace, and his ability. The thankless person depends on his own self. Nothing will turn you into a bitter, selfish, dissatisfied person more quickly than an ungrateful heart.
In Psalm 107 God wanted us to know that when we cry unto him in our distress, he’s going to be there to help us in all our troubles. He’s saying to praise God because he’s never failed us. Five times it’s repeated that we need to praise God, not just to ourselves but also to exalt him in the congregation. We need to be thanking God for what he’s done.
Psalm 107:1-2 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
Psalm 107:6-9 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and…wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psalm 107:15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
Psalm 107:21-22 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psalm 107:28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psalm 107:31-32 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
There’s a problem if we get unthankful when we should be glorifying, praising, and thanking God. We become vain when we’re unthankful. Our thinking will be off so we don’t think right. God wants us to be thankful in all things.
Romans 1:21-22 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
God gave some over to a reprobate mind to do things that aren’t proper. A reprobate mind lacks judgment so they’re deceived. People that don’t want to serve God become unthankful and do evil things. God want us to be thankful in our life.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Ask God to help us not let selfishness, bitterness, a critical spirit, murmuring, complaining, or pride come in our life so we become unthankful. We have to guard against things the enemy tries to put on us. He works on our feelings and our flesh. We have to be aware and determine to be obedient to what God says – give thanks for all things.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
In the true story of The Hiding Place written by Corey Ten Boom, she and her sister Betsy were in concentration camps during World War II when the Nazis took over. They had been in a few concentration camps and were moved to one of Germany’s worst. The barracks were extremely overcrowded, smelly, dirty, and flea infested. One morning when they were having their Bible study, they read in I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks…” Betsy stopped Corey in reading and said, thank God right now for everything in our new living quarters. Corey said I can’t do that. Betsy said the scripture says give thanks in everything. After encouraging her, Corey did start thanking God for the dirty, filthy, smelly camp. She got to the fleas and couldn’t thank God for the fleas. Betsy said you’ve got to thank God for the fleas, so finally Corey thanked God for the fleas. During the many months they spent at the camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible studies and prayer meetings without the guards interfering. At the other prison camps the guards would disrupt and cause them to stop if they found them reading the Bible or praying. Many people were in Bible studies and prayer meeting because guards didn’t come. Many got saved and they rejoiced. Several months later they learned that the guards wouldn’t enter the barracks because of the fleas. Thanksgiving opens our lives to receive more blessings and we need to give thanks in everything. We may not understand or like things, but God knows what’s best and has things under control. Psychologists say sincere gratitude and thanksgiving are the healthiest of all human emotions. Gratitude produces more positive emotions than any other attitude in our life.
I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The medical journal says thankful people have increased energy. Thankfulness helps develop a strong immune system, decreases blood pressure and stress, decrease anger and fear, increases sleep quality, increases productivity and improves job performance. It reduces negative emotions like envy, hatred, unforgiveness, or anger. It increases positive emotions like love, empathy, kindness, and mercy. It increases feelings of happiness and well being. God wants us to be thankful in everything. It causes a lot of good qualities and makes you more receptive in talking to people about salvation. They’ll see you’re thankful in your demeanor. If there’s no prosperity anywhere, we can still rejoice in the Lord.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Naomi, her husband, and two sons went down to Moab from Bethlehem was because there was a famine and they couldn’t find any food. There was plenty of food in Moab. They stayed there for 10 years. Her sons married Orpah and Ruth. Naomi’s husband and sons died. She was returning to Bethlehem because she heard there was plenty of food.
Ruth 1:14-15 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her…Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
The Moabites served the god Chemosh. They had no morals and practiced sacrificing young children, prostitution, worshipped snakes, and worshipped Mars and Saturn. That’s where Orpah was returning to her family and gods. Ruth made a decision and chose to forsake her family and false gods to follow God. She wanted to be with Naomi and serve the true and living God. God showed her there was a difference between her false gods and Naomi’s God.
Ruth 1:16-18 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and…be buried: the Lord do so to me…if ought but death part thee and me…she was stedfastly minded to go…
Ruth went to glean corn so they’d have food. She happened to glean in the field of Boaz, a near kinsman. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Ruth didn’t know where she was going but God directed her to where she’d be safe.
Ruth 2:2-3 And Ruth…said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean…corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
The place was where Boaz was. He noticed her and saw she was a hard worker. He told her to stay in his field with his maidens and not go anyplace else. She wouldn’t have had the protection in other fields. God provided in Boaz’ fields.
Ruth 2:7-11 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now…Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap…have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn. Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said…Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? And Boaz…said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
Naomi told Ruth that Boaz was a kinsman. She thought about what Ruth said and told her what to do. Boaz would be winnowing wheat that night. She said to go to the threshing floor and lay at his feet when he went to sleep. He was laid one way and she was crossways at the feet. When he woke up realized and someone was there.
Ruth 2:20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
Ruth was asking him to perform the duty of a next kinsman and purchase her to be his wife because there was no one to carry on the family name. Boaz wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. Naomi’s children were dead. He said he would do what was required. He went to the city gate and called all the people. There was one other relative who was closer but he wouldn’t do it because it would mar the inheritance for his wife and children.
Ruth 3:10-11 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Boaz was in the lineage of Jesus. If Boaz had not married her, there would have been a break in the lineage of Jesus. To be in this position Ruth had to willingly forsake everything to follow God and be led by God to do what he wanted. She was humble, teachable, and willingly a servant to faithfully do whatever God wanted. She was content, didn’t murmur or complain about her status in life or how hard she had to work. Thanksgiving came out of her throughout her life because she did what God wanted. God wants us to give thanks in everything regardless of our situation.
Ruth 4:9-13 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s…of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off…of his place: ye are witnesses this day. And all the people…said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel…and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife…the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.
Matthew 1:5-6 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;