Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~Breathe deep and reread those words. Okay, now again.…once more.~
Feel God’s will for our gratitude sink from your head into your heart. His desire descends from what you merely hear to something you intensely feel, if only for this very moment, allow yourself to deeply sense what He lovingly commands, not merely requests.
The goodness of gratitude. God knows we dearly need it to survive in a world writhing in debauchery, death and disaster. But far above our needs, our great God deserves continuous, untainted, overflowing thanks for all things!
Give gratitude in ALL things. Plain as day, in His ever powerful, transformative Word God says it over and over Himself: give thanks, be grateful, express gratitude for ALL things. And when we really practice this precept, it has the power to transform our perspective, our life experience and plant seeds of goodness all around us! God wants this good thing to flow from our hearts to His and into the world around us.
Too often I find myself coasting fast from moment to moment without mention of thanks for what those moments contain. But according to God, ALL of my existence, each minute I’m breathing, every burden I bump into, any stress and every struggle offer opportunities to give thanks!
That child taking me to task each morning, the bedtime struggles with another, the clutter I find in corners and closets I can’t seem to get to, my broken washing machine when I have loads left to do, the tears in my heart from past pain, the ways my own messiness makes my life more complicated…. It’s God’s will that in ALL of it, we give thanks!
But how do we turn all that mess into an attitude of gratitude? How do we read His living, breathing transformative Word and turn it into our heart beat? How do we make ‘THANKS’ our theme no matter what the moment holds?
Perhaps we first let go and allow the Spirit intercede when complaining or worry precedes our prayers of praise. We slow our pace to savor His goodness and grace. We record our gifts to see them stare us in the face. We get on our knees in awe at ALL He is.
Because you see, as God’s children we’re given messy gifts meant to mold us. We won’t always understand why He’s setting torn up and tattered packages before us, but if we trust God with our entire existence, we already know those unassuming gifts are good. That’s how we give thanks from the depths of our heart even when life’s hard.
Whether we’re in sour seasons or sunlit days, God calls us to give thanks through Christ in every climate of our lives.
Because God’s presence and purpose is always greater than our circumstance. So instead of sinking in our struggles, thank Him for WHO HE IS in them and how He’s working in and through you. When grief from losing Kevin to cancer gripped my throat, knowing God gave me breath. When single motherhood scared me half to death, my Savior gave me strength. When daily hassles mount so high that even the smallest stress might break my back, my Lord lifts my load when I have the wisdom to walk the weary road with Him! God protected me and personified my perseverance in my toughest times so I already know I can always continue giving thanks.
God’s faithfulness won’t fail!
So we give thanks in ALL things. Not because He shelters us from every earthly storm but because He equips us in them and saves our souls from drowning! Because He strengthens and sanctifies us in each struggle. Because He fortifies us, provides purpose as it pours and arms us to weather whatever rain, wind or blizzard is before us.
Now, let the Holy Spirit have your heart as your eyes wander back to those sacred words. Whisper them. Now shout them out! Then thank Him for the unexpected. Give gratitude for the torn and tattered gifts. And praise Him loud for the light, love and everything uplifting in your life!
Let go of worldly logic so God’s Word guides you to an attitude of gratitude, penetrating and transforming your heart. Practice pleasing God through thanksgiving! Here’s one way to start: A 40 Day challenge.
Let’s live in gratitude together in small ways everyday …and let’s watch our world transform!