How Choosing Gratitude Changes You
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
First, notice that the Bible says to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. There is a big difference! You don’t have to be thankful for the bad things that happen in your life. We don’t thank God for the evil in the world. We thank God in the midst of it.
So, why can I thank God in the midst of every circumstance?
Some reasons are:
Because I know God is in control.
I know God can bring good out of evil.
I know that my time here on Earth isn’t the end of my story.
I know that no matter what happens, God isn’t going to stop loving me.
I could think of a hundred reasons to be thankful in any circumstance.
First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this” (GWT).
If you’re feeling discouraged or depressed, I encourage you to make a list of 50 things you can be grateful for. Your gratefulness will help shift your focus away from your problems and toward everything good God has done and is doing in your life.
This isn’t like the new age “manifestation” trend or a way to channel positive thinking into changing your circumstances. This is choosing to worship God (which is the real source of power) and give him gratitude, even when your circumstances don’t change.
So, then how does gratitude help us if it may not change your circumstance?
Often the change we experience is on the inside of us. We change. We get joy and we get peace even when it doesn’t make sense.
You can apply this to your relationships too. In your marriage, make a list of things you are grateful for. This could literally transform your marriage. Actively and intentionally find things to be grateful for, and your marriage will change. How? You will begin to see it with new eyes. Your heart will change toward your spouse. You will be different, and that will mean your spouse will have to relate to you differently.
But, what if you don't feel grateful? Well, good news, gratitude is an action. You can choose to be thankful for something. Feelings follow choices. Don't wait to feel thankful. Most of the time, you can’t control your circumstances. You don’t choose a lot of the things that happen around you or to you… but gratitude is a choice.
And gratitude can change a lot.
We are going to spend the next few weeks here in November giving thanks to God for all that he has done in the life of Seminole Church. I invite you to join us THIS Sunday at 9 or 10:45am as we re-tell some of the greatest miracles and moves of God that we have experienced as a church with Part 1 of our Stones of Remembrance Service.