I woke up in the night thinking about the beautiful words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. This passage marks one of the very first times I delivered a devotional reflection on scripture. During one summer at Camp Greystone, I stood in the Dining Hall and told the campers these words:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I needed these words for my own heart. I needed the challenge to turn from negativity, complaint, and cynicism. I wondered what it would mean to take this gratitude challenge and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, become a person who knows how to give thanks in all circumstances.
I learned this (and continue to learn this):
Giving thanks acknowledges God's power, provision, and presence. It's a new way to see life. It means choosing to look for hidden blessings in the midst of painful things. This is how we give thanks in all circumstances. Click To Tweet
I took the challenge. I began to train my mind in God’s will for my life: thanksgiving.