“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In order to write about the priority of being thankful, I must begin today by saying “Thank You” to each one of you. Many of you faithfully read my blog and respond with incredible words of encouragement to me, and for each one of you that I have the opportunity to serve, I am so grateful. Thank you for allowing me to serve you. I took a break from the blog this past week as my husband and I went on a much-needed vacation. We both “unplugged” for the most part for seven days, and although it was refreshing to be free of technology, I have desperately missed this place and all of you. I’m so thankful to be back, and I’m so excited to share with you what the Lord has been teaching me.
In all circumstances.
Do we find ourselves giving thanks daily? Are we a thankful, grateful people? Do we know contentment? When is the last time that we have experienced true and lasting joy? I have been reading Ann VosKamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”, and I must say I have been incredibly challenged to a life of thanksgiving. I always thought I was a very thankful person. I thank God daily for “all the blessings that He’s given me”, but as I’ve been reading and studying God’s Word on this matter, my eyes have been opened to the infection of ingratitude that has plagued my heart.
A constant longing for more.
A nagging discontent.
Forgetting to thank God for the specifics and even the small.
This is ingratitude, and it has infected our culture by and large, and ultimately, it has robbed us all of joy. Instead of focusing on what we have already been given, we fix our eyes on what we lack, and slowly but fiercely, our joy is displaced. This is precisely why Scripture exhorts us to always give thanks. The constant outpouring of thanksgiving from our lives produces certain and steadfast joy in our hearts. We can have joy in the midst of trying and difficult circumstances when we choose an attitude of gratitude.
I am not there, yet. I have not “arrived”. I am still learning thankfulness. The conviction I have received and hope to pass on to you today, though, is that this lack of gratitude and thankfulness has infected our hearts. We must return to gratitude. We must resolve to give thanks in all things. This is God’s will for us. This is His desire for us, that we would walk in thanksgiving and live lives of gratitude. After all, we have every reason to be thankful. To start, we have been forgiven.
What are you thankful for today?