“I think an attitude of gratitude is one of the most contagious of all attitudes we can sustain. Being around a person who is grateful and frequently uses those two marvellous words, ‘Thank you,’ often is just good therapy.”—Charles R. Swindoll
Have you noticed the happiness of grateful people compared to the unappreciative? Gratitude and happiness seem to stick together, like two tight-stitched friends. Where we find one, we find the other. Those who speak the language of gratitude will regularly find happiness. But what can fuel our gratitude?
Let it be your connection with Christ, our closest of friends. Because of Him, we can speak with a grateful heart. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?” asked the Apostle Paul (Romans 8:35). Nope...Nothing! Jesus has secured us a future with Him after this vale of tears, and, no matter the calamities we face, Christ promises He is with us through it all. It’s that Spirit-driven, eternal union with Christ, which begins in the present, that empowers us to follow Paul’s otherwise impossible appeal, “Be thankful in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
In his sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:12–18, Chuck Swindoll calls to our attention that imperative to be thankful. Chuck encourages all of us—particularly those in ministry—to sustain an attitude of gratitude. In doing so, you will see how, in fact, Jesus uses it to sustain you.
The commands of 1 Thessalonians 5:12–18 need little exposition to understand the plain meaning and, therefore, the plain application. They serve as timeless principles to pursue from morning to evening, day to day.
When we see the bigger picture of God’s plan for us through Jesus Christ, we can’t help but give thanks. God has given us so many blessings through Christ. Yet, they present only a foretaste of what we look forward to when He returns!
Father, thank You for Your Word that shines in my life like a lamp in a dark room. It cleans my thoughts, restores my heart, and clarifies my purpose. Give me strength to live above my circumstances that I may give thanks in every situation. In the strong name of Jesus, amen.