Give thanks in all things for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)
When we know God is for us, it affects our perspective. Our knowledge of God’s character gives us the supernatural ability to choose gratitude, regardless of how life plays out.
Some of the great characters in the Bible chose to be grateful at some of the lowest points of their lives. Paul was grateful to be put in prison because he believed God would use it to spread the gospel. Jonah said a prayer of thanks that God had spared his life and given him time to repent. Mary thanked God that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God even though she would appear to be illegitimately pregnant. A father gave thanks for the return of his prodigal son who he thought was dead. David thanked God for being his refuge during the trials he endured. Even Jesus gave thanks at His last meal before he was to be crucified.
Worldly gratitude is stirred when we appreciate or value the gifts above the giver. Holy gratitude is grateful to the Giver regardless of the gifts. Every gift, every trial, every conflict that comes our way is part of a higher purpose, and when we view life as God desires us to, we learn that He is using everything for our good (Rom 8:28).
Psalm 107:15 says, “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men.” In everything we experience, God is there. C.S. Lewis said, “We ought to give thanks for all fortune . . . if it is good, because it is good. If it is bad, because it works in us patience, humility, and contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”
When God is not changing our circumstances, He is changing us. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. We cannot lose if we adopt His view of this life and do what He asks: ”Give thanks in ALL things!”
Heavenly Father, Sometimes I have trouble seeing everything in my life as a gift from You. I have so much to be grateful for. Thank You for the indescribable gift of Jesus, and for the gift of Your presence when life makes it hard to be grateful. Help me to know You are all I need.
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