Be Thankful: You Have More Than You Deserve

Read This: “Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Think: It’s human nature to be a critic. It’s so much easier to find things to complain about than things to be grateful for. Although, we can easily think of reasons to be thankful, it’s just talk if we don’t really feel thankful. For many, life isn’t exactly what we thought it would be. Things haven’t always gone according to plan and its left us discouraged—especially as the holidays kick off.

Regardless of your circumstances, don’t let the world rob your joy. Truthfully we don’t deserve any of the blessings we enjoy. God doesn’t owe us anything for good behavior. Remember Job? A righteous man stripped of everything. Or the apostle Paul—imprisoned and persecuted yet continually praising God. He wrote today’s key verse! Every blessing, material and relational, is a gift that we’ve done nothing to earn. Our shelter, food, clothes, health, family and friends are not ours by right. And yet, we love to complain. Let’s not waste our lives consumed by what we don’t have, instead of being grateful for everything God’s already given us. Life is so much sweeter when we lose the sense of entitlement.

Thessalonians 5:16-18 may seem like a daunting task, a nice ideal at best. But when we receive every day of life as a gift from God that we don’t deserve and aren’t promised, the Holy Spirit is able to transform our hearts so that we are truly thankful people, not just in November, but all year. Cling to the promises God does make: we are loved, we are forgiven, and we are bound for eternity in paradise. Is there anything better than that?

Ask: How often do reflect on what you’ve been given instead of what you want? What are the five greatest blessings God’s given you during your life?

Pray: Thank God for who he is and all he has done. Repent if you’ve struggled with ungratefulness in a particular area. Ask God to help you recognize both the big and small ways he blesses you.