Everything to Look Forward to and Nothing to Dread

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

When I lived in Spain, my best friend Mackenzie used to always ask people we met what their “best thing” in life was. The answers were all over the board: Moms, the color pink, summer camp, etc. It has taken me two years, but I think I finally have found my answer: people who are thankful.

Think about all the blessings in your life. There are a lot, right?! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to be thankful for all that we have been given. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

When you are appreciative for your gifts from God, it makes your life sweeter. At Thanksgiving, each member of my huge family (39 peeps!) says what they are thankful for. As we smile and laugh, it makes me wonder why this isn’t something that happens on an everyday basis.

Verse 18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, not just the ones that are easy. When moments are challenging, be thankful for people that support you. When you don’t get the grade that you wanted on a test, be grateful that you get a chance to improve on the next one. When you simply don’t get exactly what you wanted, be appreciative regardless. Because, “the things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”

If you really stop and appreciate the small gifts in life, you can truly see how sweet it is. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

It is so crazy to think of all the blessings that we have been granted from God. We immediately think of our family and friends, food and shelter, education and travel. But what about the way your best friend has the most contagious laugh? Or how your grandmother makes the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? Or the wildflowers in the park around the corner from your house? Or when your favorite song comes on the radio right when you get in the car?

There are so many seemingly “small” blessings in our lives that we overlook and forget to thank God for. These are the “small and perfect gifts” that James 1:17 talks about; the gifts that we should give thanks for in all circumstances.

“Start each day with a grateful heart.” Easy to say, but important to remember.

If you wake up every morning thankful to be alive, your day will truly be the best place to be. When we count our blessings rather than our problems, there is nothing we can’t do. JimDaddy used to always say, “Everything to look forward to and nothing to dread.” I sure think God would agree with him, don’t you?

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