(31-33 of Spiritual Discipline Handbook)
Give Thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s
will for you in Jesus Christ- 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
Watch our Gratitude Video
Gratitude is a high form of worship- everything we have in life is given to us from God and we should in turn spend time showing our gratitude for God. But with the ups and downs of life, in seasons of lament, it can be difficult to focus on gratitude. We don’t need to be thankful for every situation, but rather, we are commanded to be thankful in all situations. No matter how difficult a situation we find ourselves in, there are things for which we can be thankful. Perhaps we can be thankful for people’s care for us in a hard moment or for a job that allows us flexibility to take time off if we’re unwell. We can always find something to be thankful for and by becoming people of gratitude we can change our attitude during hardships.
Thanksgiving is something that is possible not because things in life are easy or go well, but because God is present in all situations. It is God’s love for us that equips us to find moments of gratitude no matter how difficult the circumstance. As we live with the Spirit, we can become people of thanksgiving. But it is our responsibility to allow the Spirit to work by being open to the moments of thanksgiving. We need to lean into the truth that God is present.
What are some examples of Thanksgiving in the Bible?
1 Chronicles 16.23-26
1 Chronicles 16.34
Colossians 2.6-7, 15-17
1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
1 Timothy 4.4-5
When you are struggling deeply how do you find ways to be thankful?
When have you looked back at a situation in your life and found something to be thankful for that you couldn’t see when you were living into the situation? How did that “hindsight” help you in other difficult situations?
How as gratitude displayed by someone else helped you move towards gratitude in your own life?
How has someone else’s negativity or downcast attitude impacted your life?
How might your gratitude be an encouragement to someone in your life who is struggling?
Begin a gratitude journal where you write down something(s) each day for which you can grateful.
Write a note to someone who has positively impacted your life and express your thanks for them and the role they’ve played in your life
At the end of each day spend time in prayer of thanksgiving to God
If you’re in a deep moment of struggle, spend time in prayer asking God to help you find something to be thankful for in the midst of your heartache
Think of things that you’re thankful for in life and be intentional about surrounding yourself with these things each week (i.e. family, movies, music, books, video games, friends, sports)
Celebrate with a “thanksgiving” meal once a month where you spend time with people, you’re thankful for and focus on the good things you have in life