“Give thanks in all
circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1
Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
In the U.S.,
we celebrate a day of thanksgiving once a year. But God wants us to be
intentional about our thankfulness every day. He wants us to develop this
spiritual habit, one that is reflected in the life of a radical believer. The truth
is, the more deeply you understand God’s love, the more grateful you’re going
So what does
it mean to be radically grateful?
says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give
thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
That’s radical gratitude. In all
circumstances give thanks, because it’s God’s will for you.
You can thank
God in every circumstance because God is in control. He can bring good out of
evil. He can turn around the stupid mistakes you’ve made. No matter what
happens, God isn’t going to stop loving you. There are a hundred things to be
thankful for in any circumstance, even when the circumstance stinks.
gratitude — being thankful in all circumstances — is God’s will because it
What do I
mean by that? Gratitude always builds deeper relationships between you and
other people and between you and God.
want to get closer to, start expressing gratitude to that person. If you’ve
moved away from your husband or your wife, you need to start doing what you did
when you were dating: Express gratitude. Write little notes of kindness and
encouragement. Make calls or text during the day, just to tell him or her that
you’re thankful. Do the things you did at first. The reason you’ve lost that
lovin’ feeling is because you stopped doing the things that created that lovin’
feeling early on, and you take each other for granted.
Do you want
to build your small group? Don’t just go to small group. During the week, text
them, email them, call them, write them. Say, “I’m grateful for you, and here’s
why.” You’ll find that the more grateful you are for your group, the more your
group will bond.
tells us to “encourage one another and
build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). As you build others up, you’ll
find that God builds into your life as well through your deep relationships
with him and others.
Talk It Over
- Who do you
need to encourage or connect with this week? To whom do you need to show your
- What are some
simple ways you can express your gratitude to your spouse, friend, or small
As you develop an attitude of gratitude, what changes do you think you
will see in yourself and your relationships?