Thankfulness and Gratitude
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
The holiday season is upon us, and the word “thankfulness” comes to mind. But let’s remember to be in continual prayer and thanksgiving every day of the year. In studying the Bible, I have learned that we need to be grateful for both the good and bad circumstances in our lives. That has been one of the most life-changing things I have learned. It’s easy to be thankful during the good times, but to be thankful in the rough times too, can be very challenging. The scripture above says to “give thanks in all circumstances.” It doesn’t mean to give thanks for all the bad things in the world – all the evil going on. But it means to give thanks in all your circumstances, such as going through a rough time in marriage, the loss of a loved one, financial problems, whatever you are experiencing in your own life. When we are grateful for the bad times as well as the good, it will strengthen our relationship with God, it will make us stronger spiritually and emotionally. It can also bring family and community together, and it can bring contentment by reducing your stress levels by the way you look at things. Ask yourself these questions: “If life was good all the time would you be attentive to God? Would you have a relationship with Him and be thankful for all you have?” I think if most of us are honest in answering these questions, the answer would be probably not. When I started thanking Him for the tough times, things started to turn around for me. I handle things better, I am less stressed, and I have peace and contentment. To show gratitude in all things is to show Him your willingness to have a close relationship with Him. We are tested to see if we remain faithful to Him. Let’s praise Him and be in constant gratitude in all situations.
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate this holiday season, I pray that each of us will come to You in thanksgiving and gratitude. Thank You for Your love and mercy. Thank You for giving us Your Word that gives us guidance and direction in our lives. Thank You for the difficult times we go through. For in these times, we are reminded to remain faithful and draw closer to You. In Your precious name, Amen.
Written by: Laurie Davis