“Thankful, Grateful, Blessed”
By Zach Wood
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
A couple of weeks ago, as we were on the road driving to church, I noticed a sign on the side of the road that drew my attention which read, “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed”. As the drive continued, I thought about those words and how they should apply to every day living.
First, we are blessed. This is something that has been done for us. We are blessed in so many ways. When we receiving a blessing, whatever the gift may be, that’s what it is, a gift. We receive blessings in so many different ways and forms. Blessings can come in very little ways or very big ways. However, whether big or small, they are from God. God loves to bless us and provide for us. The face that we are blessed has nothing to do with what we’ve done, but with what’s been done for us and to us.
Second and third, what is our reaction to the different ways we have been blessed? Are we indeed thankful and grateful for all that we have received? We have already been blessed, but being thankful and grateful are sole choices we make in response to what we’ve been given. We have the individual choice of whether or not to show thankfulness and gratefulness whatever the circumstances we face in life.
I think we would all agree that it’s so easy to be thankful and grateful when we receive nice gifts and when life is treating us well. However, when life hands us a basket or truckload of lemons, how often are we grateful and thankful despite those hard times? Do we push through, as Paul points us, and continue to be thankful and grateful? I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we aren’t always grateful and thankful as we should be. We all have a lot of room to grow here.
We all “know” that we should be thankful and grateful for all that we’ve been given, no matter what circumstances and situations that surround us each day, but actually living that out can be really tough. Paul learned to be thankful and grateful because he knew he was very blessed over and above anything he deserved. He rejoiced in the blessings in his life, even when things were tough.
I encourage all of us, not only at this time of Thanksgiving Holiday, but each and every day, to remember that we are truly blessed by God in so many ways. Are we going to be sincere in our thankfulness and gratefulness, no matter what?