“No matter what happens, always be thankful ~
For this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (TLB)
It’s easy to have a grateful heart when life is moving in a positive direction, when there is smooth sailing ahead, when showers of blessings are raining down upon your head, when everything is “right” in your world. But it’s not so easy to be thankful when you face adversities, illness, financial pressures, relationship problems, or other trials. Yet grateful people seem to have an inner feeling of contentment, a supernatural sense of joy that can only come out of a thankful heart. They find ways to be thankful, even in the deepest valleys of life. Ungrateful people are grumpy, constantly complaining, and find it difficult to be happy in life. They haven’t realized that the “secret” to happiness is simply having an attitude of gratitude…no matter what happens.
If you are continually focused on the things you don’t have, you can never be grateful for the blessings you do have! God wants you to be thankful…no matter what. He knows exactly what you are going through, and when you thank Him in those tough times, your focus turns to Him instead of your problems. It’s amazing how the simple act of acknowledging His presence in your life makes Him seem larger and your problems seem smaller. Trusting that He works everything out for your good is one key to being thankful in ALL circumstances.
Take time today to focus on being thankful. Express your gratitude to God for His constant presence in your life and His never-ending love and mercy toward you.
“Give thanks in all circumstances;
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” What’s the will of God for you? That in everything you give Him thanks. That’s His will for you. The circumstances swirling around you aren’t necessarily His will, but He desires that you give Him praise and thanks in the midst of those circumstances. By doing so, you begin to infuse any situation with the possibility of His divine presence and His almighty power.
Sometimes it’s very easy to be thankful. When God’s blessings seem to be overflowing in our lives and everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to have a thankful heart. But in times of hardship or heartbreak, in times of bitter disappointments, in times of tragic loss, in times of painful suffering, in times when the diagnosis is bleak, in times when we’ve been treated wrongly ~ God’s will for us in those situations is to continually give Him thanks. Through these difficult times, we shouldn’t be thinking, “This terrible thing must be God’s will for my life,” because God didn’t necessarily cause the thing that happened to you. But as Christians “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This is not saying that God caused bad things to happen to bring about good in your life. No, this tells us that even when bad things happen, God can weave His power and love in it, through it, and beyond it to bring about good in your life.
So as His children, we know that God can take the worst of circumstances and weave in threads of hope and goodness to form a beautiful tapestry. Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. Begin to praise Him and thank Him in the midst of your circumstances, and invite His presence to permeate your situation. Your present condition may or may not be directly changed by God, but ultimately He promises to bring about good in your life as a result.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 4 – 5
“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Psalm 100: 4 – 5 NIV
God is Good. His love for you will never end. He is faithful and dependable, and His promises never fail.
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.”
Psalm 107:8 NIV
“Let them give thanks to the LORD
for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.”
Psalm 107:15 (NIV1984)
Today we gather with family and friends and pause as a nation to “give thanks.” Take time today to truly focus on all the blessings in your life and remember to thank the One from whom all your blessings flow.