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
THAT YOU WILL BRING OUT OF IT.". God has
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
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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
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