Day 2

We Always Thank God for You

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Peter 4:12-14

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Peter 4:12-14

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
– G. K. Chesterton

I went to a high school with clean carpets, new lockers, and teachers who cared. Whenever adults mentioned the school and its shiny gymnasium floors, they would say, “We’re so blessed to have this facility.” Our teachers would smile as they paraded us to the library full of new books: “We’re so blessed to have this facility.”

It became a joke, at least between my sister and me, who were still learning the ropes of gratefulness. We’d lounge on the beautifully upholstered purple furniture, looking at original paintings of eagles hung on the walls while chanting to each other in our best Michigan-mom accents, “We’re so blessed to have this facility.”

Somehow, blessedly, we moved from lying around, idly kicking at our backpacks, to being contributing members of that community, and our hearts moved from mockery to genuine thankfulness for the incredible, undeserved blessings in our lives.

If we can consider Chesterton’s words that the highest form of thought is thankfulness, then ungrateful mockery is possibly the lowest form of thought. Paul is setting the example for his beloved Thessalonians by weaving his thankfulness throughout this letter to them. And he doesn’t just thank them for doing a great job; he thanks God for all the saving benefits bestowed on them, and celebrates the evidence of the gospel in their lives (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5). His thanks are, above all, to God.

All good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners but from God. Paul’s thanks to God are appropriate because God is the author of all that is good—not just all the good that comes to us, but even all the good that is done by us.

I think of myself as a pretty thankful person—maybe you do, too—but I hadn’t thought of it as a duty. Matthew Henry goes so far as to say, “Thanksgiving to God is a great duty, to be performed always or constantly; even when we do not actually give thanks to God by our words, we should have a grateful sense of God’s goodness upon our minds.” We are to set our minds always in the gear of gratefulness.

Do you find yourself in a habit of gratefulness to God, or are you set in mockery? When I consider the percentages of the words that come out of my mouth, I’m definitely teasing or complaining at least as much as I’m blessing and thanking.

If you also find yourself struck by the mockery and ungratefulness that escapes your lips and hangs around your mind, you’re in good company. But don’t just grit your teeth and try harder. Paul immediately points us to the three cardinal graces: faith, hope, and love. And he doesn’t say, “Try harder, y’all! Get you some more faith, hope, and love!” Instead he names the cause of these graces: our Lord Jesus Christ.

All good comes from Him, and any change in our hearts comes from Him. He is the object and also the instigator of our thankfulness. For the gospel also comes to us not only in words, but in power (1 Thessalonians 1:5).


Post Comments (95)

95 thoughts on "We Always Thank God for You"

  1. Bevvie Byrom says:

    I really needed this today. I cant believe how unthankful to the Lord i have been. Truely any good in our lives comes from Him. Lord forgive me. Change my heart. Amen.

  2. Lindsey Bailey says:

    A true heart of gratitude comes from a true connection with Christ. I can see the light instead of the shadows. I can try and be more thankful all day long, but like Rebecca said, these graces come from our Lord Jesus not from our will power. Jesus, draw me close to you, so my heart if full of gratitude. May that gratitude be a light that draws others to You.

  3. Lexi Sterling says:

    We so easily complain and mock and think we are at the lowest of lows, without thinking about our actual state. The actual place we are in. And the actual amount of blessing the Lord has bestowed upon us.
    We rarely sit down and count our blessings. But I know there have been times when all I can do is sit down and think about all of the “bad” in my world.
    Why not count blessings? Why not thank God? How many times a day do you look at something and say “Thank you, Lord”? Why don’t we do more of that?
    I believe we would be in a happier and more content state if we did.

  4. Sarah Kitts says:

    This scripture has definitely inspired me to think more about my mindfulness and the thoughts I choose to hold on to and the ones I choose to let go. I am trying to not only have a grateful mindset but actually express gratitude of Christ outwardly more and live by example. It’s something you have to practice daily, not just when you have received an obvious blessing.

  5. Kayla Wilson says:

    It’s so easy to speak mockingly without even realizing you’re doing so. My prayer today is that as the time goes on I’m able to speak with gratitude and not mockery. My goal is to speak with gratitude and nothing but gratitude. God is good y’all.

  6. Rae Keller says:

    I could not have found this study at a better time! I’m going through a season of change now, and there are so many times I jut want to complain that things are getting scary and I’m not ready to move forward with my life. But it is BECAUSE of God that I AM able to make changes and grow in my faith. I will be staring every day with a grateful heart and loving spirit.

  7. Sophie Huey says:

    So funny how I was just speaking to my small group about how an attitude of gratitude is what keeps us motivated to serve God with the right motives (we obey out of thankfulness for what he has done for us and out of love for him) and then I read this! Praying God will give me a more grateful heart this year.

  8. Jenneh Bockari says:

    Gratefulness will be my word for this year. I have SO much to be thankful for. Even through trial and tribulation, God has done so much for me, and through me. Gratitude is the tone that I want my heart to constantly reflect. I know keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus love and mercy will lead me on that path.

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