Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:15-17
It is common to be thankful. What is not common is to be thankful to God. It is possible to be thankful for something, with a vague, nebulous sentiment without the slightest thought of God. But God is the source of any pleasure or accomplishment. Ingratitude to the Almighty is a grievous sin.
It is a way of arrogantly suppressing the truth about God. In Romans 1 we find this statement … "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks" (Rom 1:21). In a description of wicked people Paul includes ingratitude in a lengthy list of sins … "For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim 3:2-4).
In Colossians 3:15-17 Paul mentions being thankful three times in three verses. 2 Thessalonians 5:18 is a familiar command … "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Ephesians 5:20 sounds a similar exhortation … ". . . giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
It is easy to be thankful for pleasures. It takes much more thought to understand how to be thankful and why we should be thankful when we are afflicted in some way. The key to regular, genuine gratitude to God is a grasp of the truth of God's good, holy, merciful rule over all things … including painful things. Romans 8:28 is the massive foundation on which heartfelt gratitude to God stands.