There are numerous verses in the Bible about being thankful. I am not certain of the number of times that we are told to be thankful, but I do know the thankfulness concept appears throughout the entire Bible. It is easy for me to get so wrapped up in stressful situations and grief that I forget to look at the numerous blessings God has given me.
Thankful for Jesus
I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. This might sound generic, but I must be grateful for that relationship. Without Him, I am unable to be wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher. Without Jesus, nothing else works. Through Him, I have hope beyond this life. Faith in Jesus brings not only eternal life, but power to live this life through all circumstances—the everyday, the mundane, the challenging, the hurtful, the joyful, and heartwarming.
Thankful for Relationships
Most of us have someone in our lives that encourages us and to whom we can be transparent. No matter who that person is for you, be thankful. Where would be without that relationship? My husband and my children are in my household with me, and it does not take much for me to take them for granted and simply focus on what is going wrong, what is not perfect. That is when I need to step back and put life into perspective. The people around me are some of my greatest blessings.
Other relationships that we have are meaningful as well. We need friends, acquaintances, coworkers, family, and church family. These people contribute many needful things to my life. Without them I would not be where I am today, so, it is important to stop for a moment and thank God for the people in your life.
Thankful for the Little Things
There are many cases in which people are thankful for what is obvious, but we forget to be thankful for the smaller things in life that we take for granted. For example, I forget to be thankful for the luxury of showering in hot water. Many people do not have the option. Sometimes it takes plumbing and water issues that must be repaired for me to remember not to take those small things for granted.
The ability to move around and remain busy is a blessing. It might not seem so at the time, but when I am sick and unable to get out and about, I am reminded of the blessing of health. Although I might have physical sickness from time to time, I do not have it as difficult as I often think. Sometimes God is using sickness or other tests to remind me that I need to be thankful for my health.
Thankful for Adverse Circumstances
Yes, you read that heading correctly. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to be thankful in all circumstances. That includes the difficult ones. I can not say that I love adverse circumstances, and I would rather not go through them; however, they are what make me better. When I face the challenges of life, I find that I am a better person. The trying and testing of our faith brings patience and purifies us.
I am not saying that we are to love being stuck in a difficult time in our lives, but we can ask God to help us learn something from it. We can know that God is working for our God, and we can be thankful for His mighty hand that is at work in our situations.
What about you? For what can you be thankful? Do you have adverse circumstances? Know that God is working in your trials, and be thankful that you have Him to intervene for you.