Being Thankful Can Change Everything
This being the week after Thanksgiving Day in the US, I have been thinking a lot about being thankful. I read another blog just today about thankfulness and it really hit home with me. I have been thinking about how simply being thankful can change your attitude in almost every situation – good or bad. Honestly, being thankful can change everything.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
“16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We have studied through these verses before several months back, but I feel the need to revisit them today. We will never get all the good out of God’s Word no matter how many times we revisit a verse! Agreed?
What Can A Thankful Attitude toward God Do?
A thankful attitude toward God can…
- improve the bad attitudes of our colleagues.
- help us focus on God and His sufficiency in the situation.
- change our attitude from entitled to appreciative and even worshipful.
- help us not to be angry but see what God is doing in the situation to grow us up in Him.
- help us to focus on what God wants us to learn through the situation.
- What can you add to this list?
Let’s look at Verse 16:
We must hold onto that joy that God has put deep inside our hearts, as Christians. Even focus on Him and that joy He has given us.
Now to Verse 17:
“…17pray without ceasing…”
We are staying in close and constant contact with God when we pray without ceasing. He is always with us. All we have to do is talk to Him.
And then Verse 18:
“…18give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Giving thanks in all circumstances does not necessarily mean that we are supposed to be happy about what is going on in our lives, but the fact that we are living our lives submitted to God’s will for us and knowing that He is in control, we can be thankful.
As the rest of the verse says, “it is the will of God in Christ Jesus” for us. It is His will that we are thankful and that we trust Him in the circumstances. That is how He helps us to be thankful.
Thankful in All Things?
During my breast cancer experience, back in 2003, God clearly showed me through this beautiful verse that I was to be thankful in trusting Him with everything – my
He was teaching me that I had to trust Him with everything that was important to me. He was also teaching me that I could trust Him with everything that was important to me.
Though I may be repeating myself, from past entries, I will say that I am so thankful for all that happened in 2003 and 2004. God did a mighty work and made Himself so real to me and to others during those months.
God showed Himself faithful and trustworthy. He showed Himself loving and merciful. He showed Himself tender and mighty.
Hard Times are Like Greenhouses
Plants grow the very best in a greenhouse situation. The purpose of being in the greenhouse is to have a controlled environment for optimal growing conditions.
The deeper I went into the breast cancer scenario that was playing out in my daily life, the more I knew I was in a growth time that God would use later. He definitely had my attention – because I held tight to Him to remain sane. He had brought me into His greenhouse and was controlling a situation that felt completely out of control at times. There, in His greenhouse, He took me to a deeper place with Him – deeper than I had ever known. How can I not be thankful!?!
He takes us into the greenhouse and makes us more like Him. He gives us the water, warmth, and sunshine we need for optimal growth and He teaches us about Himself and makes us more like Jesus. It may seem like too much water… or too much warmth… or too much sunshine at the time but He is in control and knows exactly what we need for optimal growth.
Oh friend, may we trust Him and be thankful!
Things to Ponder:
- How is God calling you to thankfulness today?
- What is going on in your life that He wants to help you trust Him in?
- How is He making Himself known to you in it?
- Journal about these things and times that God uses. A day will come when you need to share your journey with someone going through something similar.