THE SECRET OF THANKS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In 1637 Pastor Martin Rinkart wrote the
wonderful hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” which begins with the words:
Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom this world
Who from our mothers’ arms, hath blessed us on our
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today
Obviously, things must have been going
well for Pastor Rinkart. His heart is
overflowing with thanks and praise.
WRONG! He wrote this hymn
during one of the most difficult times in Western Europe, the Thirty Years
War. Rinkart was a pastor in the town
of Eilenberg, Germany. The city was
besieged and overcrowded with refugees.
People were dying of starvation and disease. Originally there were four pastors in
Eilenberg, but one had fled the city, two others had died, this left Pastor
Rinkart to do 40 to 50 funerals a day.
His own wife had died earlier that year. Was Martin Rinkart insane? Had this dear pastor cracked from the
weight of the overwhelming situation he found himself in? No, on the contrary, Martin Rinkart had
learned the secret of thanks.
Philippians 4: 4-7 declares, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near. Do not be
anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving present your request to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
These words of truth come from the
Apostle Paul who was beaten, stoned, persecuted, shipwrecked, and left for
dead. He too, knew the secret of
Psalm 100:4 calls us to, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His
courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
So as we once again enter into the season
of Thanksgiving, let’s ask Jesus to grant us the grace to continuously be
thankful people. As the blood-bought
children of God, we have so much to rejoice and give thanks about. You know as well as I do: this is a
lifestyle, not an annual holiday. If
you find yourself falling into grumbling or anxiousness, think of Martin
Rinkart. Remember what he went through
and how he learned the secret of continuously giving thanks. Watch and see what God does with your life
as you become a living sacrifice of thanks and praise.
So Thankful for You All,
Here’s the rest of the hymn Pastor Rinkart wrote: