1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to give thanks in everything.
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
This doesn’t mean we are to give thanks for everything, but in everything. We wouldn’t thank God for something the enemy brings into our life like sickness or destruction. But we can train our brains to give thanks despite the situation. We can always find something to thank God for!
Training your brain to be thankful is a practice that takes time and effort, but is well worth it. By making an effort to focus on the things you have to be thankful for, you can start to shift your perspective and find more joy in your life.
Thankfulness Brings Breakthrough
Anything God instructs us to do is for our own benefit. When we choose to give thanks and praise God even during difficult seasons, we are calling forth our breakthrough. Thanksgiving is the language of faith!
Remember the story of Paul and Silas when they were thrown in prison?
In the book of Acts in the New Testament, it tells the story of how Paul and Silas were arrested and thrown into prison in the city of Philippi. While they were in jail, they prayed and sang hymns to God.
As they were praying and singing, there was a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison. The doors of the jail flew open, and the chains of all the prisoners were unfastened.
When they began to praise God and give thanks regardless of the horrible situation they were in, the breakthrough came. Freedom arrived.
You can actually discipline yourself to praise God when something goes wrong. After doing this for long enough, you can actually train your brain to give thanks as a default response to life’s situations.
Giving thanks in everything can be a challenging but rewarding practice. Here are a few steps you can follow to train your brain to give thanks and cultivate a habit of gratitude:
1. Reflect on the Good Things in Your Life
Take some time to think about all the things you have to be grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. This could include your health, your loved ones, your home, your job, and any other blessings you have received.
Take time to remember what the Lord has done. Look back through your journals or photographs and remember how far you’ve come. Think about the many times the Lord has protected you or provided for you.
Think about where you might be if the Lord had not intervened in some way in your life. Think about how different your life could have been had it not been for the Lord’s mercy.
2. Express Your Gratitude
One way to give thanks in everything is to actively express your gratitude to others. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” or writing a note of appreciation.
I heard a story about a man who was in a dark place in his life. He began writing thank-you notes to anybody and everybody for an entire year. This practice dramatically improved his life in many ways. He ended up in a completely different place than where he started.
You can also express your gratitude to the Lord through words, songs, or prayers. The Bible instructs us to enter the Lord’s presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4). You are never closer to God than when you are giving thanks.
Voicing your gratitude is a game changer. Don’t just think it- express your thoughts through words.
Your tongue can change your attitude just like the rudder changes the course of a ship (James 3:4-5). If you don’t feel thankful, just start expressing it with your words.
Take the time to thank people in your life, whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a stranger who has done something kind for you.
3. Practice Being Present in the Moment
Paying attention to the present moment can help you appreciate what you have in the present rather than dwelling on negative thoughts or worrying about the future.
Pay attention to the present moment and all the things you have to be thankful for. This could be something as simple as the food you have to eat or the people in your life. There’s not many days that I get in the shower and don’t thank God for running water. There are so many things we take for granted that many in the world don’t get to enjoy.
Take a few minutes each day to focus on the Lord’s presence and His unconditional love for you. Practice letting go of any distractions or negative thoughts. Bring all your cares to the Lord, and cast them on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
4. Find the Silver Lining
It can be tough to find things to be thankful for in difficult times, but try to focus on the ways that the experience has helped you grow or taught you something valuable.
Give thanks to God that He always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:14).
When you’re facing a difficult situation, try to find something positive about it. This could be an opportunity for growth, a chance to learn a new skill, or an opportunity to help others.
Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of difficult experiences. If your faith is in the Lord, you will come out stronger and more solid in your faith (James 1:2-4).
5. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Writing down a few things you are thankful for each day can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a habit of gratitude.
I can’t tell you how many successful people I’ve heard say that they keep some form of gratitude journal. Thankfulness opens the door to abundance and pulls you into the next season God has for you.
Developing this habit of reflecting on the things you are grateful for can help shift your perspective and cultivate a sense of appreciation
Benefits of Giving Thanks in Everything
Giving thanks in all things has a number of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Some of the proven benefits of thankfulness include:
1.Improved mental health: A review of research on gratitude and well-being found that gratitude is associated with increased life satisfaction and positive emotions, and can also reduce negative emotions such as depression and anxiety (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
2. Stronger relationships: Another study found that people who express gratitude have more satisfying and closer relationships with others (Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008).
3. Increased resilience: Research has shown that gratitude can help people cope with stress and adversity, and can increase resilience (Lambert et al., 2010).
4. Better physical health: A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who regularly practiced gratitude had lower blood pressure and were more likely to take care of their health, such as exercising and eating well (Kashdan, Uswatte, & Julian, 2006).
5. Improved sleep: A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that gratitude interventions can improve sleep quality (Emmons, R. A., & Mishra, A. (2011).
Overall, cultivating an attitude of thankfulness can bring a sense of joy and contentment to our lives, and can help us build a stronger, more meaningful relationship with the Lord and with others.
What Does the Bible Say About Giving Thanks?
The Bible has numerous passages that speak about the importance of giving thanks and expressing gratitude. Here are a few examples:
1. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
2. Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for as members of one body you are called to peace. And be thankful.”
3. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
4. Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
5. Psalm 136:1-3 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.”
6. Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
7. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
8. Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
These passages emphasize the importance of expressing gratitude to God and giving thanks in all circumstances. We get to approach God with a spirit of thanksgiving and to recognize that all good things come from Him.
Thankfulness is a way to show appreciation and gratitude to God for all that he has done, and it can simultaneously bring peace and joy to our lives.
Remember that it’s okay if you don’t feel grateful all the time – gratitude is a practice and it takes time and effort to cultivate.
With regular effort and a positive attitude, you can learn to give thanks in everything.
You can actually train your brain to give thanks, and when you do, a life of gratitude will become your normal state of being! With more thankfulness comes more joy, more contentment, and more of God’s presence!
Famous Quotes About Giving Thanks
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous
“Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.” – Samuel Johnson
I hope you are inspired to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude in your life. Remember, when the Lord tells us it is His will for us to give thanks in all things, it is for our benefit!