“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
“For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you… As grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work… He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. They will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others… Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11; 4:11-12,15; 9:8,10-13,15
Paul was all about his work in response to God’s call to spread the gospel, and sprinkled it throughout with thanksgiving for His continual grace. His passion was that people be saved and grow in their faith, but over all it was that God’s will be done and He be praised. Paul was more than willing to suffer and be spent for the sake of his Lord, in order that thanksgiving abound in great measure to Him. (Philippians 1:3-5; Colossians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
There is nothing like impossible situations to set God up for receiving thanksgiving! Whether a challenging work or travel predicament, an arresting medical diagnosis, a disheartening disability in us or a loved one, delay and possible interruption of a set schedule or life plans are opportunities for dependence on the Almighty, and ultimately increased praise to Him.
Our confidence in God to see us through trials reveals His sufficiency to those who are watching, and inspires rejoicing in God. Our prayers with others in difficult afflictions engender praise to God for His protection and deliverance. Our support for His people in the face of suffering awakens gratitude for His salvation and abounding grace. Our generous giving that meets needs multiplies thanksgiving to God from those who receive, and those praying for provision.
Are we intent only on doing, or the ultimate glory of God? Do we serve, express needs, pray specifically, and share answers in such a way that we contribute to thanksgiving to God?
Lord, may my rejoicing, trust, and serving all give thanks to You, who alone are worthy to receive it.