Gratitude keeps our attitude focused on the Lord’s goodness.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Thankfulness is abnormal for the unbeliever, but normal for the believer. A heart void of God’s grace is incapable of consistently initiating gratitude, but a heart governed by grace can’t hold back a thankful expression. It erupts in public worship and praise to God. It naturally flows from joyful lips in private prayers. Like a small child ecstatic over the gift of a new doll or toy truck, so those who have received the gift of salvation are exuberant over their abundant life in Christ.
Indeed, grace is the gift of God that keeps on giving. Not only are we its recipient at conversion, but His grace continues to infuse our faith day by day, until that day we appear with Him. Yes, gratitude keeps our attitude focused on the Lord’s goodness. He is still good, when others are bad. He is still good, when we are sad. He is still good, when we are mad. He is still good, when we doubt. He is still good, when we struggle. So, we remain thankful regardless of our situation.
"And 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).
There are obstacles to exercising God’s will of thanksgiving in all circumstances. A wounded heart can’t see beyond its own hurt and anger. There is no gratitude, only disappointment with God and people. Why would my Savior allow me to be hurt? The heart of Jesus hurts when we hurt. His Spirit enters into our pain with comfort and compassion. Our pain is not an excuse to pout, but to pour out our emotions to the Healer of our heart. Gratefulness is God’s antibiotic.
What can you release to Jesus for Him to handle? A relationship? A health issue? A past pain? Let go and let God do His work of grace. Perhaps you daily journal the blessings of God. Thank Him for your joy in Jesus Christ. Thank Him for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. Thank Him for physical shelter from the elements and spiritual shelter from the enemy. God’s will for you is to be grateful. Your thanksgiving inspires others to be thankful!
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am thankful for Your grace and peace You provide in all situations.
Related Readings: Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:15; Ephesians 5:20; Hebrews 12:28