[Today’s devotion on thankfulness is a part of the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday for fresh insights from God’s Word, or follow my blog via email or WordPress to have my content sent straight to your inbox.]
Read: Colossians 3:15-17
Today’s Scripture: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
I was feeling particularly discouraged.
I was working hard to create a space in kid’s ministry where kids could grow in their relationship with God, but some days I wondered if what I was doing was making any difference at all.
There was one parent God always sent my way when I was feeling discouraged. She would approach me at just the right time, even though my struggle was unbeknownst to her. In addition to offering her prayers and support, she would often thank me for the work I was doing with the kids.
Her gratitude would lift my spirits and encourage me not to give up.
Expressing gratitude blesses others — and it lifts our own spirits as well. Research on gratitude shows that gratitude is associated with increased happiness.
The Bible has a lot to say about thankfulness, with today’s reading in Colossians 3 being just one of many examples.
With all the discussion on thankfulness in Scripture, it should be a part of our daily practice. But if you’re like me, it may be an afterthought at times. When I start to grumble and complain, I know I haven’t been thankful enough.
But expressing gratitude isn’t something we should do only once a year at Thanksgiving, once a week at church, or even once a day. Colossians 3:17 encourages us to make thankfulness a part of everything we do.
That’s right — everything. You could be at work, sitting in traffic, or meandering through the grocery store. Whatever you’re doing, challenge yourself to work thankfulness into it.
This doesn’t need to look like constantly shouting “Thank you, Jesus” every minute of every day. Verbally thanking Him is important, of course, and we should take time to do that daily. But a shift in our attitude towards being in a state of thankfulness will help us see the good that God brings out of every situation.
As we’re entering a new year, I want to challenge you — and myself — to make thankfulness a part of everything we do. While this won’t change the circumstances and situations that happen to us, it can change our outlook on the things we go through.
And while you’re being thankful, take time to express your gratitude towards others. You might just encourage someone when they need it most.
Today’s Thoughts: How might having an attitude of thankfulness in everything you do shift your outlook on situations you’re currently facing? What are some things you’re thankful for that you haven’t considered before? Who might benefit from you expressing your gratitude towards them?