1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Discerning God’s will can be challenging at times, but the verse before us makes it easy – give thanks. The writer doesn’t mean for us to shout “hooray” for every bad thing that befalls you and me. No, herein lies a more profound command. We are asked to offer up a genuinely grateful heart on a regular basis, despite circumstances. Many times, the level of our gratitude connects directly to our feelings, but we can circumvent those emotions with the intentional choice, “I will be thankful.”

Discipline yourself to rise each morning with a preset mentality of receiving the day as a gift.

Deliberately move your thoughts from what isn’t to what is, right here and right now. It’s easy to focus on things we wish were different, easy to focus on the negative, but the reality is God has been overwhelmingly good to each of us.

I encourage you to look around, take stock of what you do have, and be thankful to Him. Start with simple things like a colorful sunrise and then advance to the irreplaceable – people, moments, and things that fill your life. For me, the peace of Jesus, my wife, and the church community of God’s people top that list. What is it for you?

Gratitude is an attitude easily shared – one that has a marked influence on those around us. I can’t think of a better way of fulfilling God’s will this holiday than by serving up a generous helping of praise and thanksgiving.

Awaiting His return,

– Pastor Jack

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