Life is not always easy. Some days everything just goes wrong and you feel that it cannot be any worse. Other times everything is going well and life feels good. But you who live for God, can always be thankful – no matter how you feel.
“Give thanks in every situation because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEB).
Thankful thoughts have a very special effect on us. Criticism, complaining and dark thoughts run away when we choose to be thankful even in the worst situations. Isn’t that a useful “weapon” to have with you in your life?
You always have something to be very thankful for, no matter where you are or how you feel. Read more to find out what that is!
1. You have received life!
That you are alive is not just by chance. God has specifically planned for you to be born and live on the earth for a short time, and He wants you to live a happy life. Those who live their life according to God’s will, will see that this is exactly how it is!
Not only did He give you life, but He also gives you good advice on how you should live it. You should never doubt this. All you have to do is open your Bible to find God’s laws, and every one of them is 100% true. “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed.” Proverbs 11:25 (MSG). “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” 1 Peter 3:10 (NLT).
Think that God loves you so much that He gave you life, a beautiful place to live it (the earth) and His own perfect laws to live by. That is something to be very thankful for!
2. You are never alone
Most people have at one point in their lives felt that nobody understands them, nobody really knows them, nobody really cares. But you should know that you always have a Friend, Someone who supports you, and you have a Father who is with you. No matter where you live, where you go and what you do, God is there. He is for you. David writes about this:
“You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways.” Psalm 139:2-3 (CSB).
God watches over you, He helps you. He loves you and therefore He will never let you be alone. It is safe to stay close to Him. That is something to be very thankful for.
3. You can be full of joy in trials
Nobody goes through life without suffering. When difficult situations and trials come, you can be tempted to doubt that God knows what is best for you, as He lets these things happen. But God knows what is best for you, because He wants to teach you something through these trials, so that you in the end can share in godly nature. (James 1:12; 2 Peter 1:4.)
God knows exactly which situations you need in order to be prepared for heaven. If you believe this, you can be full of joy even while you are in a, humanly speaking, difficult time. What other people worry, stress and become bitter about, can become something very positive for you.
In the trials you see your irritation, anger, suspicion, jealousy, self-will etc., and by not giving in to these sins, you will bit by bit get finished with these sins in your nature. Then you will get the fruit of the Spirit in your life! So there is a good reason to be full of joy in trials – because it brings you nearer to heaven.
“My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.” James 1:2-4 (NCV).
Think that you have a reason to be glad over things which other people see as a burden! God knows exactly what you need and He helps you the whole way! That is something to be very thankful for.
4. God loves you very much
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (GNT).
Read this verse for yourself like this: “For God loved me so much that He gave his only Son, so that I who believe in Him may not die but have eternal life.” God thought about you when He sent Jesus, His beloved Son, down to the earth to become a man so that you could be saved. Through Jesus you can get full forgiveness for all the sins you have done, and a fresh start. You get the chance to live like Jesus Himself, free from all sin! (Romans 6:22.) Jesus longs to have brothers and sisters like Himself – those who follow Him and seek God’s will in all things.
God loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, who made it possible that we don’t have to sin anymore. That is something to be thankful for.
5. You have a hopeful future
You can look forward to the future! When you have given your whole life and your whole will to God you have a hopeful future, both in this life and for eternity.
One day you will meet Jesus again. And you will meet the others who have lived the life of a disciple like you have, and be full of joy together with them! After that, you can be on the new earth where God’s own Spirit will rule and there will be no more sin. Everything on this new earth happens in faith, hope, and love. (Revelation 21:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:13.)
If you have lived for God here on the earth, you can look forward to the day when you will be with Jesus. Think to be chosen for something like this! What a hope! That is something to be very thankful for!