( The following is used by permission of InTouch Ministries and Dr. Charles F. Stanley)
First Thessalonians 5:16-18 contain two difficult words. What are they? Always and everything. In its entirety, the passage reads, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we are thankful, we become more aware of His presence and more motivated to find His purpose.
Why are the words “always” and “everything” challenging for us? Perhaps it’s because adverse situations make it hard to rejoice always and to give thanks in everything. “Surely God doesn’t intend for us to always be filled with praise and thankfulness,” we say. But the Scriptures confirm He does.
Why does He ask this of us? It’s because God has a specific purpose for thankfulness. When we are thankful, we become more aware of His presence and more motivated to find His purpose. Thankfulness teaches us to trust God, build our faith, and recognize our dependence upon Him.
How can we be thankful in all things? The Bible tells us we must first be a child of God. Then, we’ll receive the Holy Spirit, who will enable us to:
- become more like Christ.
- do the work God wants us to do.
- express gratitude when we feel we cannot.
Our thankfulness allows us to rise above our problems and to place our focus upon God. When we thank Him and rejoice in Him, we will be energized by His glory.
Giving thanks is the will of God (Col. 3:15). What can you thank Him for right now?