Things don’t always go the way I’d like them to go and I don’t always feel like singing out my thanks to God or even like saying “thank you” to God. Sometimes I’m discouraged and sometimes even depressed and don’t feel joyful. The bible teaches us that we’re to thank God in every situation. I’ve shared that thought with many people who are in the throes of some kind of suffering and it comes across rather insensitive and trite. Yet when Paul says, “I can do all things in Christ,” he’s speaking very specifically about being thankful in the clouds as well as the sunshine. But it I sometimes tell myself that it’s wrong to say thank you when you don’t feel it. Isn’t it hypocritical to say “thank you” when you don’t mean it, or when you don’t really feel thankful.

Nike says, “Just Do It!” Don’t sit and wait for thankfulness to overtake you, overtake it! You are not a hypocrite for doing your duty. If you know that being thankful is the believer’s duty, and you don’t feel thankful, tell God how you feel and thank him anyway. It’s part of the Christian battle that we face every day. I expect there is such a thing as hypocritical thanksgiving that’s done in public to gain the admiration or acceptance of others when a person isn’t really thankful, simply showy. But the true aim of a believer in saying “Thank You” when he doesn’t feel like it is to open ourselves to God’s Spirit in hopes he will fill my words with the true emotion of gratitude. There are many things we’re called to do whether we feel like it or not and meeting our obligations often changes our hearts.

Although it sometimes seems impossible to be thankful under certain circumstances, there’s always something to say thank God for. Matthew Henry, the famous scholar, was once accosted by thieves and robbed of his purse. He wrote these words in his diary: “Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 5:20