It’s written in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT), “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
When you read this, it’s easy to think that I have to be thankful, and I have to focus on that which is positive and good, so that I can be thankful even when it’s not so easy and things aren’t going my way. Then I decide to fight an inner battle to always be thankful. I think this is how most young Christians start fighting against unthankfulness.
But when I looked properly at my life, I started to see God’s endless kindness towards me. He had actually thought about me before He created the world! He chose me from among so many other people to become a brother of Jesus, to learn many things here in this life so that I am suitable for the work that He has prepared for me in His eternal kingdom.
When I saw this, I no longer had to battle to be thankful. Then a great thankfulness flowed into my heart for my Creator, for His great love for me. My heart became full of thankfulness when I thought about how He had guided my steps in my youth – when I had to make the most important choices of my life – so that I was kept safe in His will for my life.
I also became full of thankfulness because God led me to meet other faithful people who want to do God’s will with their lives. I experience real fellowship with people who also want to become free from the power of sin, and who really want to live the same life that Jesus lived. And I’m filled with an eternal thankfulness to my Lord and Master, Jesus, who loved me so much that He was willing to give His own life for me to be saved. On top of that, He wants to share all of His glory with me.
I have thought a lot about how much selfishness I was born with. My thoughts and my nature were full of it. All I cared about was myself and that others should speak well of me and praise me for the things I did. Because of this, I was often disappointed with how people treated me, I complained and was unhappy with the people and the situations I met in life.
But when I stopped thinking just about myself, and I began to think about what I could give and do to make things better for others, I myself became very happy. It happened just as it’s written in Proverbs 11:25 (MSG), “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”
When I focused on blessing the others, I also started to see more and more people who wanted to bless me, and my heart was filled with even more thankfulness for how good I had it. When these thankful thoughts started to fill my heart, my heart ended up overflowing with only thankfulness. ”What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45 (NLT). I can now say that I am truly thankful and not just fighting a battle to stay thankful.
It is so good to be together with thankful people. They are always happy, always satisfied, always spreading joy, never dissatisfied, never complaining about anything!
By the grace of God I’ve received help to overcome my own selfishness. (Hebrews 4:16.) And I have come to a thankful life, which is truly a wonderful life.