In my years as a pastor, people have asked me to help them know God’s will for their lives. What they were really asking me to do is to point them to a specific direction in scripture for their particular question or need. Wouldn’t it be nice if scripture said it this plain? This is the will of God…that you move to Logan. This is the will of God…that you marry Sue (or John). We look for God to write out a very clear prescription: Do this on Tuesday morning at the corner of Columbus and Main streets.
Do you want that clear of direction for God’s will? Here it is! Be thankful. Gratitude is God’s will for your life. It’s very clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Could God make it any plainer? A Spirit-filled Christian who wants to do the will of God is one who is concerned about gratitude!
I like to call it ThanksLiving! It’s a shame we don’t have Thanksgiving more often. I don’t just mean the holiday where we eat to oblivion, watch football, and get with friends and family. While that is a good thing and a wonderful tradition, I’m talking about the spirit of thanksgiving. It’s every day and in every way…in all things…ThanksLiving.
ThanksLiving is also one of the evidences that God is in us and the Holy Spirit is working in our lives. We live in a world of complaint and discontentment. And yes, there are many reasons to complain. But if the Holy Spirit is in us, He triumphs over those things. He gives us victory over negative, self-pitying thoughts, and floods us with gratitude and thankfulness.
Henry Nouwen, a 20th century professor, writer, and theologian, once said, “Where there is a reason for gratitude, there can always be found a reason for bitterness. It is here that we’re faced with the freedom to make a decision. We can decide to be grateful or to be bitter.”
What are you thankful for today? Spend some time giving thanks to God for His many good gifts.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praise to Your name, O Most High;
to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.”