The Christian life should overflow with gratitude.
Colossians 3:15-17 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Let Christ’s peace be your focus, sing with thankfulness in your heart, and do everything in His name while giving thanks. These changes will lift your spirits and encourage your heart. Notice some benefits of being thankful in Christ.
First, when you’re thankful, you’ll stop complaining and grumbling. Throughout their journey in the wilderness, the Israelites grumbled against God. God counted their grumbling as a lack of trust (1 Corinthians 10:1-11). Philippians 2:14-16 says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” When you complain, you neglect to appreciate what good the Lord has done for you.
Second, when you’re thankful, you’ll stop being so anxious or worrisome. Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, (that is stop worrying about everything) but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When you rejoice in the Lord and take your burdens and your cares to Him, He blesses you with peace. He’ll put a guard around your hearts and minds.
Third, when you’re thankful, you’ll become more humble and less prideful. Remember God is the source of every blessing. James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” You may work a job and think it all depends on you, but remember God is at the source of every blessing.
Fourth, when you’re thankful, you’ll be more gracious to others. Giving thanks for God’s grace leads us to be willing to forgive others. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” A gracious person who knows the kindness of the Lord realizes the importance of being kind to others. He opens his heart and his wallet to help those in need and doesn’t complain.
Fifth, when you’re thankful, you’ll express your love. You’re thankful the Lord Jesus willingly and lovingly sacrificed Himself upon the cross. 1 John 4:19 says that, “We love, because He first loved us.” Now giving thanks helps you keep your focus on the Lord and on what really matters. Gratitude for what Jesus did is at the heart of your conversion. Gratitude leads you to be committed disciples who want to please the Lord in all that you do. You can’t look deeply at the cross and then walk away as if nothing matters. Your thankfulness will not let you.
God’s goodness leads you to repent and obey the gospel. If you thank God for His grace, you’ll gladly follow and obey Him. God’s love leads you to trust Him, to repent of your sins, to confess His name, and to be baptized into Christ (John 14:15; Mark 16:16; Acts 17:30; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38). God wants you, He wants your heart, your life, and your soul. Serve Him and follow Him always. Thankfulness begins when people keep the Lord Jesus in their hearts every day and serve Him. Don’t wait another day to express your thankfulness.