1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Bible tells us to be “thankful in everything and in all circumstances”. Being thankful isn’t just for the Thanksgiving Season. We have been blessed with the free gift of salvation and eternal life! We find ourselves overwhelmed with burdens and worried about tomorrow, we can praise God for who he is and his promise to never leave us or forsake us.
Gratitude is a heart tenderizer. It keeps our eyes focused on God, the source of all good gifts. It keeps our hearts open, and with open hearts, the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control—have ample room to grow.
We pause to give thanks for the food, family members and friends gathered around the table in the midst of preparing elaborate meals and navigating family relations.
The song of the sea is one of the oldest surviving texts describing the Exodus, possibly written as many as three thousand years ago. When something significant and big happens in our lives, it seems embedded in our DNA to celebrate with song. Songs become landmarks in our memory, resurrecting decades later and returning delight to our eyes, thanksgiving to our hearts.
In times of uncertainty, it may seem strange to turn to gratitude, but think about it: when else do we need to rely on God most except when faced with the unknown? Mary’s song, recorded after her encounter with her cousin Elizabeth, is a perfect example of the kind of praise we can give when the future looks uncertain. For being pregnant out of wedlock, Mary could have been shunned. Mary could have been cast out by her family. Mary could have been condemned to death. And yet Mary gives thanks for this new thing, this unexpected gift.
Over and over again, the psalms show us what it means to be thankful, even in times of fear, sadness, and grief. Gratitude draws our eyes away from the pain, terror, and anxiety of loss and helps us focus on the gifts of this world, moving us forward along the healing process. Example of Job- After he loses his family, his wife, his property, and his health, Job, the sufferer of sufferers, cries out, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Sometimes God feels distant or silent. When this happens in our lives, the full emotions of joy, empathy, grief, and anger seem to level out to monotony, routine, and boredom. If God seems distant, the desire to praise him and give thanks for the routine just isn’t as exciting as the other seasons, when things are good, life is full, and joy is easy. The Bible shows us thanksgiving as a response to God, even when he’s silent, even when we don’t feel like it. This sacrifice of thanksgiving — drags us into the presence of the Lord.
There are also times when life just doesn’t seem like a season for gratitude. Maybe you have a chronic illness. Maybe you’re caring for an elderly parent or a special needs child. Thankfulness for these circumstances – even when each day brings fresh challenges — helps us to find hope and meaning. Paul writes to the church in Rome, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”.
Gratitude collectively as a family or a community is a tremendous equalizer — when differences of political or religious or cultural opinion and stance are present, gratitude helps us to focus on the areas of our relationships that matter the most.
There’s something about expressing your gratitude for a person — not just saying thank you when they do something, but saying thank you for just being — that forms a bond of trust in your relationship. It acknowledges a particular characteristic about a person that raises their esteem. Gratitude for another person may be one of the most impacted and practical ways we can build one another up.
Well!! my friends wherever and whenever you find yourself deeply connected to God — in nature, in a chapel, in your backyard, in silent meditation — is an opportunity for gratitude and thankfulness.
For His Glory