10/17/17 Give Thanks

READING: Isaiah 50-52, 1 Thessalonians 5

“Give thanks in all circumstances.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Most of us are ungrateful at times. I think about so many blessings I enjoy every day (e.g., I’m alive . . . and I have food on my table . . . and a wife who loves me . . . and I have decent health . . . and I have a job, etc.) for which I too seldom express my gratitude to God. Perhaps I’m so accustomed to their being there that I don’t think about them unless I’m traveling to someplace where basic blessings of live aren’t always available. Maybe I subconsciously assume that I’ve earned these blessings, thus seeing no need to say, “Thank you.” Or, I might simply be so busy that I fail to think about stopping to express thanksgiving – which, too, reveals a problem. As we move toward the Thanksgiving season, these thoughts and confessions make my heart break a bit. 

In fact, I read in the scriptures that a lack of gratitude often characterizes those who are unbelievers (see Rom. 1:21, 2 Tim. 3:1-2). They may have received God’s blessings at some point—like the lepers in Luke 17:11-18—but they sometimes never return to say, “Thank you!” Instead, they move on with life, neglecting the one who granted them blessings in the first place. When I recognize this description of the lost, my own ingratitude evokes a much deeper level of conviction in me.

Paul expected something quite different from the Thessalonians, and thus from us: “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18). He had continually expressed thanksgiving for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 1:2, 2:13), and he expected them to pick up on his pattern to pray passionately, regularly, and gratefully. They may not be grateful for the actual circumstances, but they could be grateful in the circumstances; that is, nothing they faced could take away their gratitude for all that God had done for them—and continued to do through them.  He was still working everything out for His glory and for their good.

Nothing should keep me from being grateful. Period.


  • Think about times when you’ve allowed difficulties to trump your gratitude. Confess them to God.
  • Spend this entire day thanking God for the salvation He gives. Let nothing overshadow that gratitude.

PRAYER: “God, thank You. Thank You.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Isaiah 53-55, 2 Thessalonians 1

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