Be Thankful

How often, when children have been given something, have we been known to ask,, “What do you say?” The response we were waiting to hear was, “Thank you!” As parents, we hope to instill the habit of being thankful. I wonder if our heavenly father ever looks at us, knowing the immeasurable blessings we’ve been given, and waits to hear us say, “Thank you!” Because, honestly, isn’t it much easier to complain than to give thanks?

The apostle Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are called to give thanks in ALL circumstances; not just when things are going well for us. And being thankful is what God wants as his will for our lives: to trust in his provisions, accept his care, and acknowledge his goodness.

Here are three ways we can be more thankful.

  1. THINK thankfully: Being thankful starts with the right attitude and mindset. The words “thank” and “think” come from the same root word reminding us that thankfulness grows out of thoughtfulness. As we think about all that God has done for us, gratitude should be our response. We need to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.”  Colossians 3:16-17 says,  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” 

  1. TALK thankfully: Talking thankfully involves first and foremost the habit of praising and thanking God. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever.” How often do we stop in the course of our day to thank God for another day of life, for our next breath, and for the beautiful sunrise or sunset we often catch a glimpse of? But talking thankfully also includes others. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to, “Encourage one another and build each other up.” Do we show gratitude and thanks to others for who they are and what they have done? Make it a priority to thank and appreciate others on a regular basis.

  1. ACT thankfully: When our minds and mouths become thankful, our actions will follow. We need to be cultivating a life of thankfulness no matter what comes our way. We need to learn to give thanks in “all” situations we face, both the good and bad. Because we have the hope and the promise in Romans 8:28 that says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

So, stop and consider this: Not only would mom and dad want our response to be, “thank you,” but our heavenly father desires thankfulness to be a part of our lives. It’s his will for our lives in Christ Jesus. Take time right now to stop and thank God, then begin to find ways to thank others.  

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