The Power of Gratitude

By Valerie West

Read Time: 2 Minutes 

"Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God's perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TPT

My favorite time of the year is here! We always had a big family gathering for Thanksgiving growing up. As a child, it was so exciting to plan with my siblings what we would do when we got together with all the cousins. Living on a farm with lots of animals inspired us to get our "citified" cousins into some pretty funny predicaments. We would play, eat, and repeat; what a magical and memorable time! 

One of my favorite traditions took place during our Thanksgiving meal. We each got the chance to name something or someone that we were thankful for. There was always a lot of answers like: "I'm thankful for the food, family, friends, job, church, etc."My goal was to come up with something no one else thought to give thanks for, like books, snow, donuts, and dogs. (I'm truly thankful for all of those!) My husband and I continued this tradition as our family grew, and it is still one of our Thanksgiving highlights every year.

But what if we made gratitude a habit every day—not just on Thanksgiving?

In this fast-paced world we live in, with unending deadlines and commitments, it's vital to take time each day to calm our busyness and cultivate gratitude. The act of thinking of just one thing that you are thankful for slows your heart rate, relaxes your shoulders, calms your mind, and brings peace. Could this be why in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it says this is God's perfect plan for us? He doesn't want us striving and stressing but resting in Him. 

Let's take a look at this passage of scripture:

"Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God's perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TPT

Wait! In everything give thanks? That can be tough to live out! You may have just lost a loved one, lost your home or your job, and are saying, "How am I to give thanks for that?" 

Notice the verse says, "in" everything not "for" everything—that makes all the difference in the world! We are not thanking Him for the circumstance but for going through it with us. 

Verse 18 in the NKJV translation says, " everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

We all want to be in and do His will, so why is it so difficult to have a consistent attitude of gratitude? I think it starts with a lack of joy. Let me explain.

Verse 16 in TPT version states, "Let joy be your continual feast." 

Who doesn't love a continual feast? Not just on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, but what would happen if we approached each day with an un-bounding joy feast and prayed continually with a thankful heart? What if we truly rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything?

I believe that no matter what is happening around us, these three virtues could combine to form the wonderful expression of Christ's life within us. We would naturally begin giving thanks in everything—especially in the hard, sad, and challenging circumstances we face! Through it all, we can experience God’s promise for us found in Romans 8:28 (NKJV):

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

A gift of gratitude for you

Pastor, we thank you and your ministry daily here at StartCHURCH and are honored you chose us to partner alongside you! We appreciate the anointing on your life and respect the work God has called you to do. Our prayer is that He will continue to bless and keep you, your family, and your ministry! 

To show our appreciation, we would like to offer you a FREE Ordination Package and Ultimate End of Year Checklist for churches and ministries. To get your downloadable copies, please give our ministry planting specialists at 770-638-3444 today or click the banner below to schedule a call today!


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