1 Thessalonians 5:18
"In everything give thanks: for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Sometimes it's difficult to harness a grateful heart. After all, it is human nature to get out there and get some complaining in. Why we define friendships on individuals we share the same likes and dislikes daily. So, why not complain a bit to be included in the inner fold?
The reason why many people can't seem to get out of their problems is because they are not grateful for what God has already done for them. Take Jane for instance, "You should see the car I'm driving. It's in the shop every week!" she said. What Jane doesn't realize is there are probably 100 people who would love to have A car.
Or Katherine who says, "My husband is so lazy. He doesn't do anything with me. I don't even enjoy his company when he comes home at night." Do you know how many people are lonely today? Do you know how many people would love to have someone to eat dinner with tonight? Your spouse may not be perfect, but you need to change your attitude and start thanking God that at least you have somebody who can share your life. That's the first thing to making things improve. Your life may take a radical turn for the better if you'd just change your perspective and start being more grateful.
Then there's John who says, "I hate my job. No one appreciates me, and I work 50% more than any other individual there." Instead of going around complaining about his work he should be thanking God for having a job. He could be in the unemployment line. Imagine if he was laid off for six or seven months, and couldn't find a new job. What if he didn't have enough to pay his bills and the bank was threatening to take his house.
We seem never to be satisfied with what we have—rich or poor, healthy or sick. But what a difference it makes when we realize that everything we have has been given to us by God! King David prayed, “Wealth and honor come from you … We give you thanks, and praise your glorious name … Everything comes from you” (1 Chronicles 29:12-14)
It is so easy to take people for granted, or even to complain and become angry because they do not meet our every wish. But we need to give thanks for those around us—our spouses, our children, our relatives, our friends and others who help us in some way.
Do you let others know that you appreciate them and are thankful for them? The Christians in Corinth were far from perfect, but Paul began his first letter to them by saying, “I always thank God for you” (1 Corinthians 1:4). When a group of believers (whom Paul had never met) came out to greet him as he approached Rome, we read that “at the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged” (Acts 28:15). Thank God for those who touch your life.
In many countries a special day is set aside each year for thanksgiving. But for the Christian every day can be a day of thanksgiving, as we are “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Everyone of us has reason to give God thanks. If you got out of bed this morning you can thank God that you're alive. Thank God that you're healthy and have strength. There are lots of people at the medical center who would gladly exchange places with you. Have a grateful attitude.
More than one million people die every single week. Think about that. You were better off than a million other people last week. If you have a roof over your head, you are better off than 75% of the world's population. If you have $15 to your name, you are in the top eight 8% of the world's wealthiest people. Yes, Fifteen dollars!
We have so much to be thankful for! We should get in the habit of thanking God ALL day long. Let's start by giving him thanks right now. Find ways to incorporate prayers of thanks every minute of every day this week.