Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

ishot_55Today’s Scripture: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thess. 5:18)

In just a few short days, we will gather with family and friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  Turkeys far and wide will have paid for our feast with their lives.  The table will be spread with all sorts of tasty delights, from cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie.  While I am grateful for the time we are able to spend with family around the dinner table, we must remember that every day should be “thanksgiving” day for the followers of Jesus.

The Bible says that Christians are to be known by their attitude of gratitude.  Of all people on earth, we Christ-followers ought to be the most grateful.  The language of thanksgiving should frequently be on the tip of their tongue, for believers in Jesus Christ truly have the most to be thankful for, such as the grace of God, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life in Christ!  It is a contradiction of terms to be an ungrateful Christian.  It is an anomaly and a poor witness for someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus to be a critical, selfish, and ungrateful person.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul wants us to know that in everything, we believers are to to give thanks.  In the good times and in the bad times, in seasons of blessing and in seasons of distress, when things go right and when things go wrong, we are to give thanks.  This is the will of God for us.  How is this so?  When we find our contentment and satisfaction in Christ alone, the way of thanksgiving is opened up for us.  Thus, contentment is key to developing an attitude of gratitude.  If I am not happy in Jesus, then I will not be happy anywhere.  However, when my happiness is derived from the life of Christ in me, then I can give thanks no matter what my outward circumstances might look like.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, let me encourage you to rest confident and content in Christ so that true thanksgiving will flow from your life.

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