More Gratitude Means Less Stress
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV).
I used to think that life was a series of hills and valleys. I thought we faced good times and bad times, and they didn’t intermix.
But that’s not how life works. There’s no time in your life when everything is good or everything is bad. No matter how good your life seems, you always have something to work on. No matter how bad life gets, you always have something to thank God for.
The Bible tells us, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV).
Notice the Bible doesn’t tell us to thank God for everything. We’re told to thank God in everything.
There’s a big difference between the two. You don’t need to thank God for everything. You don’t have to thank God for cancer or someone’s death.
But you can be thankful for something at all times in your life. You can always find a blessing in your life to be grateful for.
In fact, God includes gratitude in the Bible’s classic text on overcoming stress in Philippians 4. When we’re stressed and worried about something in life, the Bible says to “ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart” (Philippians 4:6 GNT).
Grateful people are less stressed.
It’s hard to be stressed and grateful at the same time.
Gratitude gets your eyes off of yourself and gets them onto others. Instead of looking at what they don’t have, grateful people look at what they do have.
That choice always leads to less stress.
Talk It Over
When in your life have you gone through tough times but still recognized blessings and reasons to be grateful?
How have you seen gratefulness affect the level of stress in your life?
Do you have a specific habit of gratitude established in your life? What can you do to make gratitude a more consistent part of your life?
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.