Morrison reminds us that most of Paul's readers would live in very humble circumstances. Many were slaves. Yet Paul never seems to offer his sympathy but rather encouragement to be thankful. We abhor ingratitude yet so often find daily thankfulness in the sense of Scripture difficult - to bear our common burdens cheerfully, to meet our common sorrows without murmuring. But note:
1 Thankfulness really depends on our view of God. As is our God, so is our gratitude. If all that happens to us comes by chance, then of course no man can be grateful. In the old pagan world the noblest gospel that was known was that of fortitude and resignation. Then came the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and resignation was swallowed up in thankfulness. And it was not because their lot was different: it was really because their God was different. Love that stooped from heaven to the cross. This thankfulness is very conspicuous in Jesus Christ. You do not think of Jesus as resigned; you think of Jesus as rejoicing....even on the night when he was betrayed.
2. The grace of thankfulness diligently cultivated is one of the secrets of true happiness. It is not the happy people who are thankful. Is is the thankful people who are happy. Happiness does not depend on what we have; it rather depends upon our point of view....we come to see His loving hand in everything. Ungrateful people are never happy people. And that's why Christian life is always joyful.
3. Noble service. Service is changed down to its very depths when we realize that we have been redeemed....with the blood of Christ. What can we say each morning that we waken but "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift." It may be a secret you have never learned. Think of all you owe to God in Christ.