Always Be Thankful

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Being thankful is so important to God that He actually commands us to be thankful. A man in the New Testament by the name of Paul went through a tremendous amount of suffering and heartache that would cause anybody to be bitter and ungrateful and maybe even mad at God. He wrote these words, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

You may not feel very thankful right now because of where you are in your life. But even though you may not feel thankful, you can be thankful. Paul tells us in Scripture how to be thankful and why to be thankful in three specific ways. We’re going to take a look at the first way today and we’ll cover the other two tomorrow.

First, Paul tells us that we should be habitually thankful. Since we are talking about feelings, let me give you a word of caution. Nowhere will you find in scripture where we are commanded to “feel” thankful. Feelings come and feelings go. Feelings can be affected by the weather, by the temperature, by the functioning of your liver, by how much rest you got the night before, or by how the stock market is doing. Giving thanks has nothing to do with feelings.

You can be thankful even if you don’t feel thankful. We are not commanded to “feel grateful.” It doesn’t matter whether things are good or whether things are bad. We are to give thanks.

Giving thanks is a big deal to God. Paul says we are to give thanks “in all circumstances” not necessarily for all circumstances. We may not be thankful for trouble, but we are to be thankful in the midst of trouble.

So no matter what you’re facing today, remember that you can still be thankful. Even if you don’t feel like, the Holy Spirit can do a work in your soul to give you gratitude when your flesh would rather complain or feel hopeless. Let Him do that work in you today and choose to be grateful no matter what.

Dear Lord, I want to be someone who is thankful no matter what is going on in their life. I want to practice gratitude even when my circumstances are difficult, uncertain, and painful. Help me to choose thankfulness when my flesh is fighting for me to feel anything else. In Jesus’ name, amen.