A Heart of Gratitude

images-2By Charles Stanley

Today’s passage instructs us, “ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18). That directive might seem easy when life is going well. But if painful situations arise, expressing gratitude can become difficult.

It’s interesting to note that this instruction to thank the Lord in all things was written by Paul—the apostle whose loyalty to Christ earned him severe persecution. You might wonder how he was able to be grateful to God.

While many situations weren’t to his liking, Paul knew that His riches in Christ Jesus far outweighed any earthly discomfort. Consider the blessings he so valued, which are available to all believers. First of all, we are invited to have a personal relationship with the one true God—the omniscient and omnipresent Lord of all creation. Second, our Creator loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. Third, He sent His Son to die as payment for our sin debt so that we could spend eternity with Him. As a result, when we place our trust in Jesus, we are freed from the fear of death.

And the list of blessings keeps going: God adopts believers as His children and seals them with His Spirit (Eph. 4:30). He has a plan for every life—and bestows special gifts and empowerment to make it happen. He also promises to meet every need through His limitless resources (Phil. 4:19) and provides His Word and indwelling Spirit to guide us.

No wonder Paul was grateful! Today, make your own list of reasons to give thanks, and be sure to count Paul’s blessings as your own. Let God know how appreciative you are.

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