1 Thessalonians 5:18 - How To Be Thankful Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - How To Be Thankful Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) Give thanks in all circumstances, for
this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Thankfulness should characterize the Christian life in every
circumstance, not thanks for everything but thanks in everything. Paul
emphatically states this is the will of God. An Old Testament example of this
was when Job lost his money, his children, and his health. He
blessed the name of God in spite of his personal tragedies, not because
of them. Nothing speaks more powerfully of a walk with God than
continuous thankfulness. [Nelson SB]
Saying thanks was not a once-a-year occasion for Paul. Rather
it was a lifestyle. In the last chapter of 1 Thessalonians, Paul
explains why believers should always maintain an attitude of
thankfulness. When did you last thank God for his innumerable blessings?
Paul wrote that believers should "be thankful in all
circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). His statement can be easily
misunderstood. Paul was not teaching that Christians should thank God for
everything that happens in their lives. For instance, they should not thank
God for personal sin and for the evil in the world. Evil comes from
sin and from Satan, not from God. But they should thank God in every
No matter what goes wrong or right, we can still be thankful
to God for his presence and help. We have his promise that "God
causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God
and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28), so
we have a reason to be thankful.
At all times, keep in mind all that God has done. Then you
will have plenty of reasons to be thankful - for God, for the joys he
brings, and for the spiritual growth he can bring about through trials.
[The One Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re vss.
When spiritual directives such as Paul gives us here confront
us--always be joyful, always be thankful no matter what happens - our
natural response is, "That's impossible!" We tend to feel inadequate and
unable to please God. How can we rejoice in tragedy, pray when we are
otherwise occupied, or be thankful in times of adversity? The key is in
Paul's next words: "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit."
The purpose of our existence is not simply to be "good"
people. God has laid hold of and redeemed us for the purpose of forming
us into his likeness as we walk through the experiences of this
life with him. We are to become a dwelling place for his Spirit. Our
challenge is learning to let him do the impossible through us! He is using
everything in our lives to teach us that apart from him we can do nothing
but through his Spirit we can do all things, even rejoice always,
pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything.
LORD, help me to understand that you are truly causing all
things to work together for my good this very day. I want to be
obedient to what your Word asks of me. I cannot do this on my own. But in
your Spirit's power, I can do what you tell me to do. May you be my
joy, and enable me to be aware of your presence with me continually
in Jesus. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re 1Th. 5:16-19]
The writer of psalm 42 was feeling low. He wondered, Where
are you, God? Have you forgotten me? Yet somehow he was able to
remember what God had done for him, and somehow he was able to praise God
in the dark times.
We all face times of discouragement, times when we wonder if
God is really there. Some of us even face extended periods of
depression. When you feel yourself slipping into the zone of doubt, one
antidote is praise--remembering God's goodness to you. Read the Bible to
recall what God has done for others in the past. If you have kept a
journal of your Christian walk, review your own personal record of God's
answered prayer in your life.
Just as a deer depends upon water for life, so we believers
depend upon God for spiritual life. When you begin to feel separated
from God or wonder if he cares about your situation, take advantage
of the psalmist's "antidepressant": praise. Think about how much
God blesses you and takes care of you day by day. Dwell upon his
goodness and mercy. You'll be amazed by what happens when you start
praising instead of doubting. [The One Year Bible for New Believers]
Is it truly possible to give thanks in all circumstances?
Yes. There might be aspects of the circumstance that God doesn't want
- troubles caused by sin or the brokenness of a fallen world. But
there are bound to be elements of the circumstance you can be thankful
for. Thank God that he is with you. Thank him for how he can form
your heart as you persevere. Thank him for helping you respond with
love, faith, and hope. Thank him for the other people who are standing
with you. Thank him for what he might be doing in their lives that
you aren't aware of.
Once you get started, you can probably think of many more
reasons to thank him. Write down these things instead of just thinking
of them. Writing your gratitude helps to solidify it in your mind
so that it affects your mood and your choices. Even better: tell
someone else you are grateful for him or her for something specific.
Spread the gratitude around.
Giving thanks in all circumstances will transform the way you
experience your life and see the goodness of God. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day
Here is a prescription for overcoming frustration. Look for
something good to come out of everything that appears bad. How I wish I
could hammer this thought into the mind of every Christian. Nowadays,
it is almost second nature with me to look for a positive in every
negative, but it was not always so. At one time, whenever anything bad
happened to me, I used to say: "Oh no, not again! Just when everything
seemed to be going right! Why should this happen to me?" I learned,
however, to apply this principle, and I can honestly say it has
transformed my life and ministry.
This also means learning to thank God for the good that is
emerging, instead of brooding over any loss that has been sustained. This
positive thanksgiving will make your heart receptive to God's power. He
can do anything with a thankful heart, but He will usually do little
or nothing with a complaining, self-pitying heart. It is closed to
Also, find someone who is going through difficult
circumstances, and help them find victory. Someone has said, "Sorrow expands
the soul for joy." For joy? Yes - the joy of being useful and
creative. God uses frustrating circumstances to prune you for
And the lessons you have learned will go even deeper as you
share them with others. Expression deepens impression. If you
incorporate your sorrows, they will multiply. And if you incorporate your
blessings, they too will multiply. Learn this secret, and it will help you
stay spiritually on top - no matter what.
Oh God, Help me not be a whiner but a worshiper. Help me to
cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving in all things - for I know that all
things serve. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible
with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Psa. 29:11]
Rivers and streams overflow when the rains are either intense
or persistent. The amount of water running into them is greater
than the capacity of their banks. We overflow with thanksgiving when
God's mercies and blessings fill us up. The amount of favor being
poured into us is greater than the capacity of our hearts. When we
realize the size of God's generosity, we can't help but be grateful.
But how do we let our lives overflow with thanksgiving when
we feel dry and dusty? What if we're going through a season of
lack? That's when gratitude is the last thing on our minds. We know we
should be grateful to God; He has saved us and blessed us with many
spiritual blessings. But the burdens we bear and the needs we have tend to
outweigh the memory of His favor. In the absence of a tangible or recent
touch from Him, we lament our difficult situations. We may even
grumble about them.
Gratitude is a matter of perspective. The road back to it can
begin with a conscious choice to notice what God has given. Even the
basics - breath, a roof over our heads, the last meal we ate - are
worth appreciating. We can thank Him for the things He has provided
that He didn't have to or for things that haven't happened to us but
could have. In every situation, there is something to be grateful for.
When we find it and express it, our faith and gratitude increase. The
attitude seems to have a positive snowball effect in our hearts.
Choose gratitude. Find something to give thanks for, and then
say so. Out loud. The more you do, the more your life begins to
Father, You are worthy of a heart that overflows with
thanksgiving toward You. When I think of all You have done and put it in
perspective, I'm filled with gratitude. You have filled me up. Help me always
remember to express my thanks. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen re Col. 2:7]
I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your
moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude
is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe.
Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence.
When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you
think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited
human perspective, it may look as if I'm mismanaging things. But you
don't know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain
to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much
more. However, I have designed you to live by faith, not by sight. I
lovingly shield you from knowing the future or seeing into the spirit
world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all
circumstances. (Isa. 6:3; 2 Cor. 5:7; 1 Th. 5:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
Thankfulness opens the door to My Presence. Though I am
always with you, I have gone to great measures to preserve your freedom
of choice. I have placed a door between you and Me, and I have
empowered you to open or close that door. There are many ways to open it,
but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective.
Thankfulness is built on a substructure of trust. When
thankful words stick in your throat, you need to check up on your
foundation of trust. When thankfulness flows freely from your heart and
lips, let your gratitude draw you closer to Me. I want you to learn
the art of giving thanks in all circumstances. See how many times
you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a
multitude of blessings. It will also cushion the impact of trials when
they come against you. Practice My Presence by practicing the
discipline of thankfulness. (Psa. 100:4; 1Th. 5:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
Thank Me frequently as you journey through today. This
practice makes it possible to pray without ceasing, as the apostle Paul
taught. If you are serious about learning to pray continually, the best
approach is to thank Me in every situation. These thankful prayers
provide a solid foundation on which you can build all your other
prayers. Moreover, a grateful attitude makes it easier for you to
communicate with Me.
When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time
for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness
consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker.
Draw near to Me with a grateful heart, and My Presence will fill you
with Joy and Peace. (1Th. 5:16-18; Jam. 4:8; Rom. 15:13) [Jesus
Calling by Sarah Young]
It is impossible to praise or thank Me too much. As it is
written, I inhabit the praises of My people. Sometimes your adoration is
a spontaneous overflow of Joy, in response to radiant beauty or
rich blessings. At other times your praise is more disciplined and
measured - an act of your will. I dwell equally in both types of praise.
Thankfulness, also, is a royal road to draw near Me. A thankful heart has
plenty of room for Me.
When you thank Me for the many pleasures I provide, you
affirm that I am God, from whom all blessings flow. When adversity
strikes and you thank Me anyway, your trust in My sovereignty is a
showpiece in invisible realms. Fill up the spare moments of your life with
praise and thanksgiving. This joyous discipline will help you live in
the intimacy of My Presence. (Psa. 22:3; 146:1-2; 1 Thes. 5:18).
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Rest in My presence, allowing Me to take charge of this day. Do
not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released. Instead,
walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at
a time. Thank Me for each blessing along the way; this brings Joy
to both you and Me. A grateful heart protects you from negative
thinking. Thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower upon you
daily. Your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven's throne room
when they are permeated with thanksgiving. In everything give thanks,
for this is My will for you. (Col. 4:2; 1Th. 5:18) [Jesus Calling by
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
GREAT PRAISE SONG
I Want to Be More Like Jesus Every Day [Live] Gaithers:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: