In all things be thankful

“… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18)

Today, as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow, the will of God is for us to be thankful in all things . To specifically give thanks freely to God. Thanking Him for pain that proves we are alive, for His discipline which shows He cares as a Father, for happy times that are unearned, for frustrations and for triumphs. For a million seemingly little things. Can you join with me in doing today what — if we have been captivated by Jesus — we will love doing forever?

Our destiny is to say these small words forever

Speaking of giving thanks, this reminder from Of First Importance is worth re-posting:

“I have often wondered, perhaps in part simply because the term is so rarely used today, what it might mean to ‘glorify’ God forever. It will undoubtedly mean a great many things, but one of them surely must be that we will continually thank him.

We will thank him for his graciousness and goodness to us, and for inviting us into conversation. Along this line, I would think that we anticipate our ‘chief and highest end’ every time we behold something beautiful and find that after we have exclaimed, ‘Ah, how wonderful!’ we are almost compelled to say ‘Thank you!’

Our destiny is to say these small words forever and so experience the gratitude that is the perfection of happiness.”

—Craig M. Gay, Dialogue, Catalogue & Monologue (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2008), 48-49.

How simple, true, and profound.

Seeing that giving thanks will be our forever practice and joy for all eternity, how do we practically do that, on a day to day basis here and now?

(Please chime in on this…)

A few thoughts on cultivating thankfulness as a lifestyle:

  • Sit down and think . We will not be grateful automatically (this depravity thing holds us back from looking outside ourselves).
    • Is there anything “big” that I’m thankful for?
    • Anything relatively “small”?
    • How do those “small” things add up — a tall stack of God’s grace and undeserved kindness.
  • Ask someone else, “What are you thankful for?”
    • Gratitude and joy are contagious (as are negativity and self-absorption).
  • Tell God what you are thankful for.
    • Go ahead, He’s listening! (Eph. 3:12)
  • Preach the Gospel to yourself every day.
    • Can you articulate the grace of God in Christ, who is the substitution for Your sins and the only way to God?
    • We never outgrow our need for the Gospel. (It is for us Christians to.)
  • Tell someone why you are thankful for them .
    • We are each blind to our own fruit and daily need encouragement.
    • A hand-written note is a small item that can sustain a burdened soul through trying times. Take the time to show them you care, because you do. (see here )
    • God often puts different people on your heart to pray for and encourage – directly.
    • Call, write, even text others to affirm their being created in God’s image.
    • They might choose to return the favor, but who cares if they don’t. Be a free-grace-giver.
  • Why are you/me/we generally un-thankful? (if you are not bent towards joy and gratitude, as a lifestyle or at this particular moment)
    • Remember that all problems are Gospel problems. They all stem from a lack of proper orientation to the Gospel. In other words, the gospel transforms our hearts, our thinking and our approach to absolutely everything.
  • Repeat…

Any to add?

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Written by jeff-patterson