A Lifestyle of Gratitude

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

The logic of it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Give thanks all the time, in all situations. We affirm this teaching, because we’re told this is the will of God. If this is God’s will for our lives, then it must be done.

Nevertheless, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, giving thanks in all circumstances, both good and bad, can be hard. We may not like to admit it, because to say so means defying a biblical mandate, but there are times we may not be truly thankful for certain situations. The loss of a loved one. A missed opportunity. We may not feel thankful when it seems we’re left fumbling about trying to make sense of something that has created hardship in our lives.

And yet, the instruction remains the same.

Give thanks in all circumstances, because this is the will of God.

Essentially, what I believe this passage is telling us has more to do with our character, which will then inform our outlook. God’s desire is for us to always pursue the path God prefers for our lives. We have the option to ignore it or follow it. Ignoring it means succumbing to despair, always griping about not getting our way, and it robs us of the lifestyle of gratitude God wants for us.

If, though, we learn to truly appreciate what is given to us, a new day, a new opportunity, another chance to do things right, another example of God’s love and grace at work, then we can start to see where gratitude wells up from a truly thankful place within our hearts. Then, our character begins to shift, and we’ll find ourselves more and more in line with God’s desire each moment of every day.

This passage is encouraging an awareness of that potential, the capacity to develop an entire lifestyle of gratitude that transcends seasonal obligations. Suddenly, we find it much easier to give thanks in all circumstances, because we know God’s will and seek to follo2 God’s will.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

— Trent Sessoms
Senior Pastor


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