Updated: Jan 16
For many, thanksgiving is an important time to reflect on life and find the good in their days. Some spend time reminiscing with family. Others seek out close friends and express their gratitude to God together. Fellow Christians, if you are tempted to leave thanksgiving in November, take it with you instead. Life is godlier and more pleasant when thanksgiving is expressed each day.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul wrote by the inspiration of God, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” These short verses communicate big messages about Christian life.
There is always a reason to rejoice. Those who understand what God has done through Jesus have a reason to rejoice every day. Are there sad days, even for Christians? Yes. But Paul’s command concerns Christians’ general manner of life: Christians, those saved by Jesus Christ, are joyful people!
Prayer is always appropriate. Among the greatest of God’s blessings on us is His listening ear, His interest in our words to Him. The Thessalonians were living faithfully, even as some of their brethren passed from this life (see 1 Thess. 4:13-18). During those difficult times, they were assured not only that new life awaited the faithful but also that God’s ear was open to them in prayer. He remains attentive today as well.
Thanksgiving is expressible in every circumstance. As the first two were general conditions of Christian life, so is the giving of thanks. Each day, with its blessings and setbacks, comes with reasons to thank God. Thankfulness toward God characterizes Christians, no matter the difficulty of our circumstances.
Rejoice always, never stop praying, and give thanks in everything. Fill your days with these, and you will be godlier and happier at the same time.