“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Gratitude Changes Everything.” This is typically the time of year when everyone is focused on giving thanks as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday but for us as Christ followers everyday is a day of thanksgiving. This includes the good days, the bad days, and everything in between. After all, today's scripture says “ in all circumstances.”
We can be honest in this space with each other. I’m sure we would all agree that being thankful when things aren’t going according to our plan or schedule can be extremely difficult. We will never understand God’s ways or even what His plans are for the challenges that we face (Isaiah 55:8-9) and that is where the trust that we talked about in last week’s devotional must kick in. The one thing that we can all agree on is that God is good (Pslams 100:5). It’s just His nature. His Word says that He will not withhold anything from those who walk uprightly (Psalms 84:11). His Word also says that All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). You see what just happened? We just identified two things to be thankful for: God’s goodness and the promises that we have in His word!
We have to be intentional about maintaining a grateful heart. I will personally say that this can be challenging but I have to remind myself that God is not asking us to give thanks FOR our circumstances. The exhortation in this scripture admonishes us to give thanks IN whatever circumstance we may be facing because doing so helps us to shift our focus away from ourselves and place it on His goodness. We don’t have to look too far to see His hand at work in our lives. Just think about it, you are currently reading this which means you are alive! Let me challenge you today to make a mental or physical list of all the things that you are grateful for. Recalling these things daily or as often as possible and watch how gratitude will change you. This change is what God desires most for us as his children.