November 22, 2007
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
--1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It’s a good thing to take time out to give thanks this time of year, but of course, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a one-time event in your life. Gratitude should be part of your daily lifestyle! And the Bible reveals some godly habits you and I need to develop to truly be thankful people all year round.
The first habit is joyfulness. First Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always.” Now, it’s important to remember that this kind of joy isn’t found in your external circumstances. It’s found by focusing on Jesus in the midst of your circumstances.
The second habit of a thankful person is prayerfulness. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Now, I know this sounds like a tall order! But the Scripture is telling you and me that we need to live life with a mindfulness of God’s presence all the time. We do this by acknowledging Him throughout the day and developing a habit of talking to Him about every experience we have in life, whether it’s good or bad.
The third habit of a thankful person is, well, being intentional about being thankful! First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances….” This doesn’t mean we’d call everything we see or experience in life good, necessarily, it means that in the midst of everything, God is good. And because God is good all the time, you have a reason to be thankful no matter what you’re going through today!
Finally, being thankful requires the habit of hopefulness. Now, I’m not talking about wishful thinking here. I’m talking about believing what God says… that as a believer, you can become more and more like Jesus and that you will be with Him one day in heaven.
So what about you? Are you living in joyfulness… prayerfulness… thankfulness… and hopefulness? Remember, these habits are actually commands! So I challenge you today… and every day… to cultivate these important qualities in your life!
Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a one-time event in your life. it should be part of your daily lifestyle!