Tag Archives: giving thanks

Choosing Thankfulness

As Paul is wrapping up his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, he quits expounding on things and starts rapid firing commands. Pray for and honor your spiritual leaders. Be joyful always. Test all things. Avoid evil. He puts one right in the middle that to me is one of the hardest commands. He says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT). What? How can I be thankful in all circumstances? Why doesn’t he expound on this and tell us how? I’ve wrestled with these questions and this verse my whole life.

As I was pondering this recently, I remembered the words of a British Bible scholar from the 1600’s, Matthew Henry, when someone stole his wallet. He said, “Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.“ Wow! That’s someone who chose to be thankful in all circumstances. He understood that you don’t have to be thankful for your circumstances, but you can find ways to be thankful in them.

It comes down to a matter of our heart. Are we choosing to blame God for our problems or are we finding ways to be thankful despite them? God’s desire for each of us is to learn thankfulness because it changes our perspective. When circumstances arise in our life, we can choose to become bitter or better. That outcome is dependent on what we focus on when we don’t like our present situation. Choosing to be thankful in all circumstances is definitely the more difficult choice, but it produces much better results in our life.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Grateful Heart

As we were headed somewhere, my son, who was in the backseat, out of the blue asks, “Dada, who is your favorite leper?” I said, “You know, I haven’t given it that much thought. Who is yours?” He replied, “The one who praised God and went back to thank Jesus.” Then he asked, “Why didn’t the other nine who were healed go back and to thank Jesus for healing them?” I replied, “That’s the same question Jesus had, but we weren’t given the answer to.” He thought for a second then said, “We should always thank God when He answers prayers.”

He’s right, but many times, we forget. For many of us, what is urgent right now is what gets all of our energy and attention. Once it’s taken care of, we move to the next most urgent thing. For those 10 lepers, the most urgent thing was to be healed before the leprosy claimed their lives. Because it was considered “unclean” and contagious, the people who had it were cut off from family, friends and society. It was a lonely disease where everyone avoided you. So once these people got Jesus’ attention and their healing, they were ready to rejoin their families. Only one felt his most urgent need was to go back and give thanks.

Luke 17:15 says, “One of them, a foreigner from Samaria, when he discovered that he was completely healed, turned back to find Jesus, shouting out joyous praises and glorifying God” (TPT). The Bible records many healings Jesus performed, but this story records someone giving thanks for their answered prayer. Gratitude is a godly quality we could all get better at. When we look back at our life, we can see many times God has answered our prayers. Can we also see moments of gratitude like this leper’s? Take time today to thank God for all He’s done for you. You’ll find that the more you grateful you are, the more you’ll have to be grateful for.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). It’s one of those verses we can quickly read over. Paul was wrapping up his letter and was writing several commands for these new believers. He was wanting them to take these instructions and ingrain them in their new lives early on so that they would become a habit long term. Each of the things he said were important, but this one always jumps out at me.

Paul, the writer of Thessalonians, had gone through some pretty dark days himself. He learned that if you focus on your problem, despair sets in. If you focus on finding something to be thankful for, praise fills your heart. That’s how he and Silas could praise in prison. I’m sure it started out as a conversation on things to be thankful for that turned into singing praises to God. It was in those praises that God moved the earth and set them free from their chains.

Don’t miss that powerful truth. When you praise, God frees you from your chains. Praise comes from a heart that is thankful. A thankful heart comes from a person who looks for the good in every situation. If you’re breathing, you’ve got something to be thankful for. If you have a bed to sleep in, you’ve got something to be thankful for. Your world may be falling apart, but God has not abandoned you. Give thanks for that. When you learn to give thanks in all circumstances, you’ll learn to praise in all circumstances.

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

10 Scriptures On Being Thankful

1. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT)

2. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34 AMP)

3. We thank you, God, we thank you— your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about. (Psalm 75:1 MSG)

4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (Psalm 100:4 AMP)

5. At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:20 AMP)

6. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2 NLT)

7. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MSG)

8. Sing praise to the Lord, all his faithful people! Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks! (Psalms 30:4 GNB)

9. IT IS a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High, (Psalm 92:1 AMP)

10. Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. (1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

3 Reasons To Be Thankful

When is the last time that you stopped what you were doing and truly thanked God for all he’s done for you? In I Thessalonians 5:18, it tells us that no matter what your circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks. Even if nothing seems to be going your way right now, there is reason to give thanks.

Having a thankful heart is a mindset that you have to create. We are not naturally thankful creatures. You need to practice being thankful with others and with God. When you truly make being thankful a part of your life, you will find that your attitude, your outlook and your perspective will change for the better.

Here are some reasons I have found to give thanks.

1. For salvation

Each of us should be eternally grateful for what Jesus did on the cross for us. There is nothing that we could ever do to earn our way to Heaven. It is only because God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for our sins that we have that ability. I don’t have to spend my life hoping and trying to be good enough one day. The price for my sin was paid for by Jesus.

I love how 2 Corinthians 9:15 says it: “Now thanks be to God for His gift, precious beyond telling, His indescribable, inexpressible, free gift!” We have a very good reason to be thankful today. You do not have to spend eternity separated from God if receive His son into your life.

2. For God’s faithfulness

I’m thankful every day that God’s faithfulness doesn’t rely on my own faithfulness. 2 Timothy says that even if we are faithless or are untrue to Him, He remains faithful and true because He cannot deny Himself. What God has promised He will do, He will do no matter what.

One of my favorite promises in scripture is found in Philippians 4:19. I remind myself of this scripture when things aren’t going my way. It says that God will supply all of my needs according to His riches. I often want Him to supply all of my wants, but He has promised to take care of my needs. I have air in my lungs, a place to sleep and food to eat. That is something to be thankful for.

3. For what He has done

How many times have we prayed and asked God for something and He’s done it? Too many to count I’m sure. I often thank Him for the big things when He does them, but what about the little things? Have we thanked Him for a good night’s sleep, help on a test, safe travels or for food to eat? We constantly petition God in prayer and rarely thank Him.

When He healed the 10 lepers in Luke 17, only one came back to thank Him. Jesus asked him where the other 9 were. How was it that only one came back for something as big as a life giving healing? I want to live my life like that one who came back and worshipped Him and thanked Him.

I know it’s hard to do sometimes. I’ve been at points in my life where it seemed I had nothing to be thankful for. The truth is that I had a lot to be thankful for, but I wasn’t looking for it. Wherever you are today, stop and give thanks to God. You will find that it will change you when you live with a grateful heart.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized