This time of year certainly makes us think about what we are thankful for, whether it’s because of the commercialization of the holidays or the meals we attend with family and friends. God says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” This short verse brings a powerful message!
When you are thankful you naturally show your appreciation and complain less. It’s not healthy to dwell on the tragedies of others, but they do offer a stark reminder of the life God could have given you. Everyday stresses that come with life can oftentimes overtake our ability to be thankful and show our thankfulness – or so we think.
Thankfulness Requires an Attitude Change
Being thankful begins with an attitude change. You have to take the time to think about what you are thankful for. As noted in the passage above, God wants us to be thankful in all situations. Yes, this includes when your child breaks your good China, your car runs out of gas five miles from home, you are diagnosed with cancer and your mother or father dies unexpectedly. The more difficult a situation, the more life lessons you will learn. God uses situations for His greater purpose. We don’t always know what the purpose is, but we always need to be thankful. Your tragedy may be someone else’s wakeup call. If you develop an attitude of being thankful in all things, then it will not be so daunting when a major life event happens.
Be Thankful for the People in Your Life
Make a list of the people who are most important to you and set a goal to show them how thankful you are for them often. Your children and spouse need to hear you tell them and show them how much you appreciate them often. Send a card to your best friend and meet up for coffee once in a while. Stay in touch with friends and family and let them know that you care about them. God brings people into our lives for different reasons and we need to be thankful for those He has blessed us with.
Give Thanks for Your Current Situation
Be thankful for where you are in life. Most likely your job, home or a relationship is not what you dreamed of when you were young, but be thankful. Let go of expectations you have been carrying and let God take you where He needs you to be on His time. Maybe you planned on going to college and had an unplanned pregnancy. Maybe your dream job crumbled after getting fired. Maybe challenges in your relationship have distanced you from your spouse. You cannot change the past, but you can let God determine your future. BE THANKFUL for this and for where you are. All situations in life will teach you lessons that money and happiness cannot bring you.
Being thankful for all things will take you further than constant complaining and it will help you develop resilient faith that cannot be broken.
Seated In Him,
Shevon L. Sampson