Food for Thought1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give Thanks
Food for Thought
An Guide to Kingdom Living

By Marni Montanez

1 Thessalonians 5:18  (RSV)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

What is a thankful heart? What does that mean? Is it possible to give thanks in all circumstances? There are situations that can really overwhelm us or bring us down; deaths, exceptionally bad news like a spouse being unfaithful, illnesses, losing our jobs….the list can go on and on.  How can we be thankful throughout such storms?

We can do it by focusing on the truth of what God is saying. God says “in” all circumstances, not “for” all circumstances.

God chooses His words very carefully and knows what He means.  

Being thankful is a state of mind. It alters the attitudes and can even change the feelings of an individual who is not feeling hopeful.

Having an attitude of gratefulness is simply thanking God for being God. This encompasses everything God is and does. The outcome seems the most important thing to us, but that is not reality.  If we rely on an outcome we agree with then there are times we will miss out on the outcome we really need. To give thanks in the middle of a storm is to say, “God, you are God over this storm and I am going to fix my eyes on you to see what you make out of this storm and believe that you will get me back to shore”.   

To give thanks is total and complete focus on an all-powerful God who is all wise and all knowing. He knows what outcome we really need and it may be different than the outcome we want or expect.  Just because God has not answered a prayer as we think He should does not mean He’s not listening or that He has betrayed us.

In Daniel 3 when King Nebuchadnezzar sent out an edict which would prevent Daniel and his friends from worshipping God as they always did.  His friends were caught disobeying this edict and were thrown into the fire.  Even in the face of death they stood with conviction and told the king that God could deliver them and even if He didn’t, they still would not obey the edict. They literally put their lives in God’s hands and trusted that the outcome would be God’s outcome and that is all they knew...God’s will was their desire.  

Thanking God in the midst of our circumstances reveals the level of faith we walk in.  

Giving thanks is not about being in denial and pretending everything is going to be ok, because we heard somewhere that God is good.  It is about pursuing such a strong relationship with God that as we learn who He is, we know He won’t let us down.  God is good but the sincere thankful heart comes from intimate knowledge of God’s goodness.  It is something that He has proven to us over the course of time.

God inspires us to want to please Him.

A Bible verse relating to this says, “God moves us to will and want for His good pleasure.

It is God’s will for us to be thankful.”  Not only does He deserve people’s thankfulness for who He is and what He has done, but He knows how a thankful heart will affect us.

Challenge:  How grateful to God are you?  Have you been thankful or have you been complaining?

God bless,       


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lamb-rightThe purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.