1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When people think about the will of God, giving thanks doesn’t generally top the list. Oftentimes, gratitude doesn’t even make the list. We think of bigger things, like starting charities, or writing books, or preaching. But God’s word makes it clear that giving thanks is God’s will for those who are in Christ Jesus. This gratitude is not conditional. We are to give thanks in any and every circumstance. Here are a few great things to thank for today and always!
For His Goodness and His Love
In Psalm 107:1, God’s word says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” There is nothing we have that God has not given us. It is His great pleasure to protect and to provide for His people. His goodness knows no bounds and His love is unfailing. Consider the job that He provided when the bills were piling up, or the clean bill of health that He granted when the doctors said otherwise. Consider the breath in your lungs and the roof over your head. These blessings can so easily be taken for granted, which is why we all need the reminder to give thanks.
For His People
Paul makes a sweet declaration in Philippians 1:3. In writing to the Philippians he says, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” God has blessed us with beautiful people in our lives. God places even the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). His intention is not isolation, but relationship. He blesses His people with community so that we can be spurred on, supported, and encouraged as we journey through life together. Let us consider the people who have been a blessing in our lives this year. Whether we know one or one hundred such people, we would do good to follow Paul’s example and give thanks for them.
For His Grace
God, in His loving mercy towards us, didn’t want to leave us in sin. As an act of sacrificial love, God sent His one and only Son to die a sinner’s death on our behalf (John 3:16). We therefore do not have to pay the wages of our sins, which is death. We have been set free because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Let us thank God today for the free gift of salvation, a true expression of His grace and heart toward us.
Happy New Year and God bless you all!