The words thanks, thankful and gratitude appear in the Bible 106 times. An attitude of gratitude is profoundly counter-cultural and makes a huge difference to our wellbeing, our relationship with God and those around us.
Read 1 Thess 5:16-18
Towards the end of Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica, he fires off some principles to live by:
- Rejoice always
- Pray without ceasing
- Give thanks in all circumstances.
He cites these as God’s will for our lives. To rejoice always is to anchor our joy in Jesus despite the circumstances – which can be happy or sad, easy or difficult. Praying whenever we can helps with that too, as does being people who give thanks in all circumstances.
An attitude of gratitude flows as a response to the amazing Gospel we have received. Jesus rescues us from that hopeless situation with his undeserved grace. Jesus unlike us perfectly fulfilled the law on our behalf, died in our place as a perfect substitute, taking the judgement we deserved. We don’t need to jump through hoops or manufacture our own righteousness. In that spectacular event of the cross and resurrection, everything we need to live in an amazing relationship with our creator has been provided.
Thankfulness to those around us and to our God flows from that.
Pray: Why not start making a habit of thanking people and the Lord today?
Recommended extra reading
Choosing Gratitude (Nancy Leigh De Moss)
This is a staggeringly helpful book on being thankful, and very challenging. Nancy helps us choose of path of gratitude over ingratitude, that will bring you great joy!