A New Way to be Thankful
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. It is always such a sweet time of family gathering together to enjoy great food, fellowship, and making lasting memories. One of our traditions as a family is to go around the table and let everyone tell of what they are thankful for. I am so blessed each year to hear of how each one is so thankful for so many things.
As grateful as I am for that tradition of sharing our thankfulness, I really believe that God meant for us to live with that attitude every day and not just on Thanksgiving Day. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us above that we are to be thankful “in all circumstances.” Let that command for living sink in for just a moment.
The word for “all” in that verse in Greek means “all”. All circumstances would include both good and bad circumstances. I do not know about you but being thankful in tough circumstances is not something that comes naturally for me. However, the Apostle Paul tells us in this verse that to do so is “God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
The great preacher of the past Charles Spurgeon understood this idea that thankfulness should be a lifestyle and daily mindset not an occasional activity. I came across how he viewed the idea of thanksgiving. He said that: “I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will.”
What would it look like for us to begin to practice “thanks-living” this Thanksgiving season? First, we must recommit ourselves to making our relationship with the Lord the top priority of our lives. By doing so, we can as Spurgeon said “constantly delight ourselves in the Lord.” Making the Lord the preeminent relationship of our lives will also result in submission to His desires rather than ours.
Finally, I believe that we need to be obedient to the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to be “thankful in all circumstances.” I do not have to think long to be reminded of just how much the Lord has blessed me. I am grateful that God saved me and provided for my eternal home. Also, He has blessed me with an incredible wife and family and to be part of an incredible ministry like MCA. What about you? What has God done for you?
I pray that every family of Metrolina would have a blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy this time as a family. I pray even more that we would all allow God to use this season to speak to our hearts so that we might begin to practice “thanks-living”. I am convinced that the blessings of “thanks-living” will far exceed that of just one day! Happy Thanksgiving!