1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” At first, this seems like an easy command. Of course gratitude is good! We teach our kids the importance of saying, “thank you” daily, and we try to foster an attitude of thankfulness in our homes. But when we really take a look at what God is saying here, we see that He wants us to “give thanks,” not just sometimes, but “in all circumstances.” Not just the happy ones, the planned ones or the ones that can be easily fixed. How can God require us to do something that seems so difficult, and, at times, impossible?
In this season of thanksgiving, let’s reflect on how we can live lives that are defined by perpetual gratitude. Having a continually thankful attitude requires an enduring faith in the Lord and His faithfulness. And when we joyfully trust in His promises, we are freed to thank Him, knowing that He will work every circumstance out for His glory & our good (Romans 8:28).
How can we be sure to remain thankful every day, even when times are hard? It’s a hard discipline, but the fruit you will see in you and your family is endless! Here are five ways to help you instill gratefulness in your family’s life each day:
Start your day with God: Beginning your morning with praise will set the tone for your day, putting everything into a Christ-centered perspective. This is essential to living a life of constant gratitude!
Start a “thankful” journal: Each day, write down five things you’re thankful for. Reminding yourself of the good things God has given you-- big and small-- honors Him & equips us to face each situation with joy!
Thank those around you: Remind those around you that you are thankful for them and what they do. Intentionally making others feel loved & appreciated is one of the best ways to instill thankfulness both in your life & others’.
Live “I’m Third”: In addition to thanking others for what they have done for you, serve those around you in a way that fosters gratitude in them. Look for ways to help and encourage your family and friends, and watch these relationships grow in incredible ways!
Pray for a thankful heart: None of us can perfectly maintain an attitude of gratefulness. It takes the Lord’s grace & strength. When we ask for His help, He will be faithful to give us everything we need to stay thankful in “all circumstances!”