Be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (NLT).

Today concludes the 3-part series on God’s will for our lives. If you question His purpose for your life, or you’ve got off track altogether, these three verses in 1 Thessalonians are a great starting point. First, always be joyful. Second, never stop praying. And third, be thankful in all circumstances.

There are two key words I want to point out in the third step. (I’ve italicized them below for your convenience.)

Be thankful in all circumstances.

The word be leaves nothing up for debate. To be thankful is a command, not a suggestion, and you and I determine whether or not we will be thankful. Giving thanks is a choice. Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (NKJV). King David wrote here that he would bless the Lord. He dictated whether he would express gratitude to God, not his circumstances.

The second word I want to point out came as no surprise I’m sure: all. Did you know you can choose to be thankful no matter how awesome or awful the circumstances are surrounding your life? Sure you can. Before you utter a complaint, or develop a woe-is-me mentality, stop and take inventory of the many blessings you have received. Then praise God for them. If you don’t know where to begin, start by thanking Him for another day of life. After all, you just read this devotion, didn’t you?

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