Can you name one thing you can honestly say you “always” find yourself doing, something that’s “constantly” part of your day. Maybe for some, it is constantly talking on the phone, for others, it is being constantly busy, constantly working. Possibly you feel as though you are always thinking about the tomorrow about the future, making plans for what you hope will happen next in your life, bringing about both worry and optimism. Perhaps you are one who finds themselves always glued to the news, picking up after your kids, or stuck in traffic trying to get home. Think about it what is it that thing you find yourself doing daily without fail.
According to Scripture, thankfulness is a prominent Bible theme. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths. We should give thanks in all circumstances one of the most important things to be always, constantly doing is being thankful.
To give thanks always and constantly means simply maintaining an overall, ongoing attitude of thanksgiving. Gratitude is the attitude that will set the altitude for life. It is your attitude that makes the difference between being overwhelmed by what just happened and being excited for what is going to happen. You may soon realize, however, that this kind of heart and mind is all but impossible to keep up all the time. Not everything is going to always be easy to be happy about; every day just does not have appropriate enough “gratitude” in life circumstances to work with. Nevertheless, one of the truths found in Paul’s words to the Thessalonians that is in his example toward them is how he deliberately thanked God “always for all of you.” In order to stay constantly thankful, you should routinely be giving thanks for the people God has either allowed or placed in your life.
Not just your favorite people—the ones who are so much fun to be around—but also those whose names you do not particularly enjoy seeing pop up on your Facebook feed. Not just people from your own generation and culture who are easier to relate to, but also those who are a little harder to get to know and understand. Not just your closest friends and family members, but also those who, for whatever reason, insist on being your enemies.
In order to be the kind of person that you yourself truly want to be, a thankful person, you must constantly stay reminded that God is sovereign over the everything, totally in control of all. Of course, this means it is important to establish the habit of a daily devotional time with God, but God wants more than an appointment in your schedule. He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem, and even every thought.
A common misconception is that “spending time with God” means being alone with him. Of course, as Jesus modeled, you need time alone with God, but that is only a fraction of your waking hours. Everything you do can be “spending time with God”. If He is invited to be a part of it and you stay aware of his presence. You can carry on a continuous, open-ended conversation with him throughout your day, talking with him about whatever you are doing or thinking at that moment. “Praying without ceasing” means conversing with God while shopping, driving, working, or performing any other everyday tasks -1 Thessalonians 5:17. The key to being thankful always is not changing you, but changing your attitude. What you normally do for yourself, you begin doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing, working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.