Day 8

Give Thanks in Joy

from the Give Thanks reading plan

Psalm 95:1-7, Luke 15:1-10, Luke 17:11-19, Colossians 1:9-14

BY Kasey Moffett

She sits across the coffee table from a friend she hasn’t connected with in years. This friend knows the suffering, pain, and disappointment God has brought her through. The question from her friend hangs in the air between them: “How are you?” 

She looks around, tilts her head, squints her eyes, and hopes uttering the words won’t break the spell. She almost whispers, “I’m good…really good.”

Has this ever been you? Have you ever found yourself in a wonderful season where it’s easy to see the gifts from God outweighing the negatives? I know I have. The heaviness of the world is still there; I have friends I’m praying for desperately, but for me and my house right now, everyday life is without major problems.

The Bible answers many of our questions when suffering leaves its mark. In our broken world, grief should be expected at some point, but what about when everything seems to be going mostly right? How do we interact with God and Scripture then? 

Thankfully (pun intended), Scripture has an answer for this as well in today’s story of the ten lepers. Ten men were healed of their leprosy. Ten men were released back to society to work for wages, went home to their families and friends, and walked in the streets again. How many thanked Jesus?


I thought thankfulness would roll off of their lips easily. Wouldn’t we do anything for God if He would just answer our prayers? Then we’d have something to be grateful for. But when all is going well, it is very tempting to forget who gave us the blessing in the first place.  

God is the One who gives us everything, not our human efforts (Psalm 95:3–5). When we move into a new home or a long-awaited baby is born, we can shout hallelujah! Thank you, Lord, our Creator who makes beautiful things! We don’t have to feel guilty when we experience happiness on this earth. However, we must fill the jars of our hearts with lightning bugs of joy, treasuring up gifts of his eternal faithfulness. His gifts are meant to be enjoyed; they really, truly are. But we return to the core of our joy, that lightning bug inside the jar.

What should we ultimately find joy in? Colossians doesn’t let us forget which treasures we should be storing up, “the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9). All of heaven rejoices when we put our faith in the only One who can save us. Kyle Worley from the Knowing Faith podcast says it this way, “We shout truths about God in the light so we can stand on them in the dark.” Lightning bugs don’t show up as well in the light, but they can’t be missed in the dark. The greatest joy is being saved from death and darkness to eternity and light with Jesus.

Post Comments (67)

67 thoughts on "Give Thanks in Joy"

  1. Amy EB says:

    I feel like people who doubt that God is real, or that he cares, or that he is powerful sometimes pray “Lord, if you just do something for me, then I’ll believe.” Then if things don’t work out, they point to that as a reason not to believe. But then I look at the parable of the 10 who were healed with only 1 coming back to thank Jesus. Even if God answers those types of prayers, how many people would actually turn back to him? Or do they just run off to enjoy their blessings like the other 9 lepers? It was also interesting to read it right after the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin. I always thought of it as convicting those who did not give glory to God, but like the one lost sheep or coin that is found, the one leper who returned after being healed was saved by his faith and just one person is reason for joy.

  2. Lauren GW says:

    Thank you, cara, I will check that out!

  3. Becca Wiebe says:

    I’m storing upthose lightning bugs and trying to be thankful in whatever situation I am in.

  4. Cara P says:

    Lauren GW, praying for you this morning. My daughter asked me to join her in the Chad Wilkerson Step Up workout on Veterans Day which we did together to help raise awareness of our military and what they go through on returning from a deployment. I listened to a podcast from Chad’s wife, Sara and it really opened my eyes to want to do more. You can find more details from another military wife at

  5. Diana Yelverton says:


  6. Lauren GW says:

    I know I have shared several times here about my husbands battle with military PTSD since deployment 3 years ago and how it has affected our family. The past month has been especially bad – he hasn’t been able to live with us, and that has obviously had a huge effect on my kids and myself. Without getting into the details, on Friday, as an answer to prayer, the navy removed a barrier to him getting care that has been plaguing him for the past 18 months. It’s not healing him, but the relief at this has lessened his symptoms. He was able to stay with us over the weekend, and take the kids to school today. I left for work this morning with him laughing and snuggling with the kids. We still have a long way to go in his healing and repairing our family, but I’m so thankful for a few moments of respite and “normal”

  7. Karianne K says:

    Somehow I missed that sentence so I’m grateful you shared it here! Very powerful

  8. Kat D says:

    Don’t remember the source, but heard this a few years back: JOY should provide order/focus to your life and prayers.
    J for Jesus/God should always be first.
    O for Others is next.
    Y for You.

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