A Grateful People

Often Christians wonder what God’s will for their lives is. Whom should I marry? What should my major in college be? Should I accept this new job position? And the list goes on. But there is one part of His will for our lives that is crystal clear: we are to be grateful people.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It is God’s will that we continually give thanks to Him. We are called to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in all the circumstances of life.

Years ago, I had a friend challenge me with this thought: “Don’t be grumbly hateful; be humbly grateful.” Those really are the two choices, aren’t they? Folks can generally be divided into two categories—those who are hateful and those who are grateful. For my part, I want to be named among those who are grateful.  

Thanksgiving is upon us and it is, of course, the season for gratitude. But we needn’t limit thanksgiving to a particular day on the calendar. Thanksgiving needs to give way to thanksliving.  We should live each day counting our blessings and expressing thanks to God (and others).

Notice that we are to give thanks “in all circumstances.” That’s part of the rub, isn’t it? We are to give thanks in all circumstances—the good and the bad. This is a real test of our faith.  Do we believe that God is at work even through the hard times? Do we believe that He intends our good? If our answer is yes, then even in the hardest of circumstances, we can and will give thanks.

Many of us experienced flooding in the deluge that hit greater Baton Rouge last year. As I reflect upon those hardships, there are many things for which I can give thanks. Though our home was flooded, our lives were spared. Though our possessions were ruined, our friendships with others were strengthened. 

This Thanksgiving season let’s “give thanks” as never before. This is God’s will for us all. Our world needs more who are grateful and fewer who are hateful. ■

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01 Nov 2017

By Jeff Ginn

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