1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of our lives, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike. To quote Oprah Winfrey: “Be thankful for what you have; you‘ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

I am looking at the Apostle Paul’s letter directed to the Greek believers in Thessaloniki and this is what he wrote (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18):

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Thanking God in all circumstances takes gratitude to another level; needless to say, some circumstances are quite daunting. How can we be thankful in all situations and stay positive and upbeat? There is a good chance that we are losing it when the rug is pulled underneath us and the world as we know it ceases to exist. We can break – that is normal. However, when a human being meets Christ, this person will have to redefine “normal”.

I believe seven words of Paul’s statement referenced above pull everything together: “God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. “In Christ” we are bound to experience things differently.

In the book of revelation, Jesus says (Revelation 3:20):

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.”

Jesus is asking us to open up to Him. Christ is in us when we let Him in, and then we become a part of something that is much bigger: God’s kingdom. While its administrative capital is located in heaven, God’s kingdom is present everywhere; believers are considered ambassadors of Christ and to date His embassies are found all over the world; this is how God chooses to make His presence known.

In God’s kingdom all is not lost when we lose everything. When believers lose their life it only means they move from the embassy to the administrative capital. It takes a lot of pressure off of us knowing that our lives are in God’s very capable hands. This frees us up to look beyond our immediate circumstances, be there for others and – last but not least – be thankful.

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