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. 


   Have you ever visited the ocean? The 
constant crashing of the waves is awe-inspiring. The 
ocean continually moves. We see that movement as 
waves pound the beach. And although we can't see 
below the surface, the ocean actually moves faster 
at greater depths. 
   Can you think of other things that keep 
going and going and going? Write down a couple. 
   You might have written down the wind. 
Wind constantly blows near the ocean and at great 
heights in the atmosphere. The sun always shines. We 
may not see it if it's cloudy, but that doesn't 
mean the sun has stopped sending out heat and 
light. The earth also continually rotates and 
revolves. We may not feel it, but our world is 
spinning at more than 1,000 miles per hour, and we're 
orbiting around the sun at about 67,000 miles per 
hour. Time would've been another good answer. Time 
constantly moves forward, ticking second after second 
into the future. 
   God created many things to function 
constantly. And in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle 
Paul tells us three things we should always be 
doing: rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks. 
   Living out that command seems pretty 
impractical. Does God expect you to walk around 
constantly shouting, "Praise God! He is good! I thank 
God for all his blessings"? You could do that, 
but you might get some strange looks. 
   Instead, as followers of Jesus, we should 
look at these things like breathing. We don't 
have to think about breathing - it just happens 
naturally. Similarly, we should pray, praise, and thank 
God all the time. Praying continually doesn't 
mean you have to go around with your head bowed 
and eyes closed (that's just a good way to get a 
concussion). But we should be thinking about God all the 
time and have our thoughts focused on him. We 
also need to be always rejoicing. Maybe you feel 
like there's nothing to be happy about. School is 
hard. You sprained your ankle. You feel like your 
parents give your sister more attention. All of 
these circumstances are temporary (although they 
may not feel that way). Your relationship with 
Christ is eternal. No matter what's going on in 
your life, you can trust that God has a plan for 
you and will give you the strength to accomplish 
his will. And his love for you will keep going, 
and going, and going. [Case For Christ For Kids 
by Les Strobel] 


   God doesn't really need our gratitude, 
but we need to be grateful. "Gratitude itself is 
a wholesome and healing force," says a 
meditation from the book One Day at a Time in Al-Anon. 
A thankful heart deepens our faith and 
enhances the quality of our lives. 
   1.	Count your simple blessings. The list 
is endless.  As you tally, give thanks. Review 
your simple praise list each day. Thank God for 
all material gifts, for faithfulness, for His 
refusal to give up on you. 
   2.	Talk about the bright side. By 
focusing on the brighter side you gain another 
perspective. Your immediate thoughts are transformed, and 
you begin a healthy habit of optimistic 
   3.	Thank God even when youre not 
grateful. "I don't understand this, God," she said 
over and over, "but I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD 
promised to be with us always. Times of suffering 
remind us of this promise and allow us to draw 
closer to God in loving surrender.  David Biebel 
said thanksgiving reminds me that God is with 
me, conducting the symphony even when the 
current movement may not be much to my liking. by 
Joan Wester Anderson excerpted 

   I am convinced that being thankful is one 
of the most powerful things we can do. I 
believe that complaining and murmuring weakens us, 
but gratitude empowers us. Very few days are 
perfect, but every day we can find something to be 
thankful for if we will only look. 
   I am recovering from a hip replacement 
surgery, and for the past nine days, I have had a 
stomach virus (yuck!). But at the same time, I can 
truly say that God is giving me grace for each 
day, and good things are happening. I am 
recovering from the surgery even faster than normal, 
and I know that the stomach thing won't last 
forever. I am full of hope, and that is good reason 
to give thanks! 
   It is important for each of us to realize 
that everyone goes through difficult times. Our 
lives are usually a mixture of abasing and 
abounding (see Philippians 4:12). The apostle Paul 
said that he had learned to be content either 
way. I am sure in the learning process he 
discovered that complaining did no good at all, but 
thankful contentment allowed him to be unmoved by his 
circumstances, which is certainly a "power position." 
   Father, I am sorry for all the times in 
my life I have complained. Please help me to be 
thankful every day in every situation. [My Time with 
God by Joyce Meyer] 

   Gratitude is the worlds healthiest 
human emotion. It actually increases your immunity 
to sickness. 
   Plus, ungrateful people tend to be 
unhappy people. Nothing ever satisfies them. They 
never have enough. They are when-and-then 
people who think, When such and such happens, 
then Ill be happy. 
   But the Bible gives us another way. First 
Thessalonians 5:18 says, Whatever happens, give thanks, 
because it is Gods will in Christ Jesus that you 
do this (GWT). 
   Gratitude can change everything. For 
example, try this: If youre feeling depressed, 
make a list of 50 things you can be grateful for. 
Your gratefulness will help shift your focus away 
from your problems and toward everything good God 
has done and is doing in your life. 
   We take much for granted. Develop the 
attitude of gratitude and watch your stress level go 
down - because there is always something to be 
grateful for. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren: 

   I used to think that life was a series of 
hills and valleys. I thought we faced good times 
and bad times, and they didnt intermix. 
   But thats not how life works. 
Theres no time in your life when everything is good 
or everything is bad. No matter how good your 
life seems, you always have something to work on. 
No matter how bad life gets, you always have 
something to thank God for. 
   The Bible tells us, In everything give 
thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus 
for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV). 
   Notice the Bible doesnt tell us to 
thank God for everything. Were told to thank 
God in everything. 
   Theres a big difference between the 
two. You dont need to thank God for 
everything. You dont have to thank God for cancer or 
someones death. 
   But you can be thankful for something at 
all times in your life. You can always find a 
blessing in your life to be grateful for. 
   In fact, God includes gratitude in the 
Bibles classic text on overcoming stress in 
Philippians 4. When were stressed and worried about 
something in life, the Bible says to ask God for 
what you need, always asking him with a thankful 
heart (Philippians 4:6 GNT). 
   Grateful people are less stressed.
   Its hard to be stressed and grateful 
at the same time. 
   Gratitude gets your eyes off of yourself 
and gets them onto others. Instead of looking at 
what they dont have, grateful people look at 
what they do have. 
   That choice always leads to less stress. 
[Daily Devotional by Rick Warren: 

   In both the U.S. and Canada, we celebrate 
a day of thanksgiving once a year. But God 
wants us to be intentional about our thankfulness 
every day. He wants us to develop this spiritual 
habit, one that is reflected in the life of a 
radical believer. The more deeply you understand 
Gods love, the more grateful youre going to 
   So, what does it mean to be radically 
   The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is 
Gods will for you in Christ Jesus (NIV). 
Thats radical gratitude. In every circumstance 
give thanks, because its Gods will for your 
   You can thank God in every circumstance 
because God is in control. He can bring good out of 
evil. He can turn around the worst mistakes 
youve made. No matter what happens, God isnt 
going to stop loving you. You can find a hundred 
things to be thankful for in any circumstance, even 
when the circumstance stinks. 
   Radical gratitude - being thankful in all 
circumstances - is Gods will because it creates 
   What do I mean by that? Gratitude always 
builds deeper relationships between you and other 
people and between you and God. 
   If you want to get closer to someone, 
start expressing gratitude to that person. If 
youre feeling distant from your spouse, you need 
to start doing what you did when you were 
dating: Express gratitude. Write little notes of 
kindness and encouragement. Make calls or text during 
the day, just to tell your spouse that youre 
thankful. The reason youve lost that lovin 
feeling is because you stopped doing the things that 
created that lovin feeling early on, and you take 
each other for granted. 
   Do you want to build your small group? 
Dont just go to your gathering. During the week, 
text or email or call or write the people in your 
group. Say, Im grateful for you, and heres 
why. Youll find that the more grateful you are 
for your group, the more your group will bond. 
   The Bible tells us to encourage one 
another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 
5:11 NIV). As you build others up, youll find 
that God also builds into your life through your 
deep relationships with him and others. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 


The Gratitude Boost
   Paul's thankfulness for his friends in 
Philippi is an excellent example for us to follow. 
Gratitude changes our mindset and helps us see what's 
good about others. What might happen in your 
relationships if you thanked God for your family members 
when you woke up every morning, if you thanked 
God for your co-workers when you walked in the 
front door, if you thanked him for your friends 
and your neighbors as you drove home? Don't 
think first of what you want to get from them; 
think of what God is giving you through them 
already. Even people you aren't naturally drawn to 
offer unexpected gifts. 
   Studies show that the more grateful you 
are, the happier you are. Positive thoughts about 
people will actually release beneficial chemicals 
in your brain. And your relationships will go 
much better if you go into them with an attitude 
of gratitude. 
   Your happiness level will skyrocket if 
you take time to remember the good things about 
the people around you. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day 
Devotional re Phi. 1:3] 




1st of 28: Divine Dining: 
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine: 
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible: 
4th of 28: Cared For: 
5th of 28: Saved: 
6th of 28: You Can Change: 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 
Gibbs FGGibbs@abible.com