"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
As you navigate the winding path of life, with all its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, joys and sorrows, there's a powerful weapon at your disposal that can transform your emotional landscape, create inner peace and foster emotional wellness. That weapon, dear friends, is gratitude.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT), we are told, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This isn't merely a suggestion but a divine command, a blueprint for emotional wellness. Gratitude isn't just a polite response or a fleeting feeling. Gratitude is a mandate from God, a crucial component of our faith walk, and a beacon on the path to emotional wellness. It is also a cornerstone of our faith and an essential stepping stone to emotional wellness. In this blog, we discuss eight tools to have on your journey into a heart of thankfulness. Let's do a word study.
In - Strong's G1722 - en
in, by, with, among, at, on through,
a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest
Every thing - Strong's G3956 - pas
individually each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
collectively some of all types
Give thanks - Strong's G2168 - eucharisteō
to be grateful, feel thankful
(actively) to express gratitude (towards); specially, to say grace at a meal:—(give) thank(-ful, -s).
For - Strong's G1063 - gar
properly, assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification;
and, as, because (that), but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, yet.
This - Strong's G5124 - touto
that (thing), this (thing)
Is the will - Strong's G2307 - thelēma
what one wishes or has determined shall be done
of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
of what God wishes to be done by us
will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure
what one wishes or has determined shall be done (i. e. objectively, thing willed)
of God - Strong's G2316 - theos
the Godhead, trinity
God the Father, the first person in the Trinity
Christ, the second person of the Trinity
Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity
spoken of the only and true God
refers to the things of God
his counsels, interests, things due to him
Christ - Strong's G5547 - Christos
Christ = "anointed"
Christ was [and is]1 the Messiah, the Son of God
Jesus - Strong's G2424 - iēsous
Jesus = "Jehovah is salvation"
Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate
Concerning - Strong's G1519 - eis
into, unto, to, towards, for, among
of a place entered, or of entrance into a place, into; and
a. it stands before nouns designating an open place, a hollow thing, or one in which an object can be hidden
"Gratitude isn't just a polite response or a fleeting feeling. No, my dear friends, gratitude is a mandate from God, a crucial component of our faith walk, and a beacon on the path to emotional wellness."
When we pull the word study together, we see the strong theme of an "internal knowing" coupled with the position. We also see that the posture for this position is one of rest, simply because of WHERE we are seated (Ephesians 2:6). Because all of our days have been predestined before the worlds were framed, this should immediately shift us from anxiousness and worry to thankfulness. Why? Because through Jesus Christ, God has created a space for His presence to dwell, no matter what is happening in our external world. God has already "convened" His Counsel on your behalf!
How then, do we cultivate this garden of gratitude, especially when the soil of our circumstances seems barren? Cultivating a heart of gratitude, especially as advised in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, involves several steps.
Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude
1. Understand God's Will: The verse tells us to give thanks in all circumstances because it is God's will for us. Understanding that gratitude is part of God's plan for our lives is the first step.
2. Recognize All Circumstances: The verse tells us to be thankful in "all" circumstances. This means we should recognize not just the good moments, but also the hard times, knowing that each experience is part of our unique journey.
3. Practice Continuous Prayer: The context of the verse suggests constant communication with God. This could be through prayer or meditation, where you express gratitude for the blessings you have received.
4. Choose Joy: The verse is part of a larger passage that begins with "Rejoice always." Choosing to be joyful, even in challenging times, can help foster gratitude.
5. Express Gratitude: Find a way to express your gratitude. This could be through prayer, writing in a gratitude journal, or telling others about the blessings you've received.
6. Cultivate a Grateful Mindset: Make gratitude a daily habit. Reflect on the things you are grateful for every day, no matter how small they might seem.
7. Share Your Gratitude with Others: Sharing your gratitude with others can encourage them and also strengthen your own feelings of gratitude.
8. Trust in God: Trusting in God's plan, even when it's hard to understand, can help foster a heart of gratitude. Remember that God's will for us is to be grateful, and trust that He is working all things for our good.
"This isn't a one-time process but a continuous cycle of nurturing, fostering, breeding, cherishing, and nourishing the Word of God in our daily lives. Practically, we can break this down into four faith actions: Write. Speak. Read. Pray."
Faith Actions: Practical Application
Cultivating the Word of God in our daily lives is a fundamental aspect of Christian discipleship. Here are some biblical steps that you can take:
1. Daily Bible Reading: Make a habit of reading the Bible daily (Joshua 1:8). It doesn't have to be extensive – a few verses or a chapter a day can be a great start.
2. Meditation: Take time to meditate on the scriptures you have read (Psalm 1:2). Meditation here refers to reflecting deeply on God's Word, pondering its meaning, and considering how it applies to your life.
3. Prayer: Pray before and after reading the scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word for you and help you understand and apply it (John 16:13).
4. Obedience: Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only (James 1:22). Strive to apply what you've learned from the Bible in your everyday life.
5. Memorization: Memorize scriptures. This can help you recall and meditate on God's Word during your daily activities or in times of need (Psalm 119:11).
6. Study: Engage in an in-depth study of the Word. This may involve using Bible study tools, and commentaries, or joining a Bible study group (2 Timothy 2:15).
7. Share: Share the Word of God with others. This could be through evangelism, teaching, or simply discussing what you've learned with friends and family (Matthew 28:19-20).
8. Worship: Incorporate God's Word into your worship. Many songs and hymns are based on scriptures, and these can help you meditate on God's Word even as you praise Him (Colossians 3:16).
Remember, cultivating the Word of God in your life is a journey, not a destination. It's about growing in your relationship with God and becoming more like Christ every day.
Gratitude isn't just an act, it's a lifestyle. It's a fortress in times of despair, a balm in times of sorrow, and the catalyst for emotional wellness. When you choose to be grateful, you choose joy, peace, and resilience. And THIS is Kingdom living!
Are you ready to embark on this journey into gratitude and emotional wellness? I invite you to join us on my website, where the full exploration of this concept awaits you. Delve deeper into this transformative journey with our Study Guide and Prayer and Scripture Cards, crafted to aid you in fostering an attitude of gratitude and enriching your spiritual journey.
Gratitude is the key that unlocks the door to a fulfilled, joyous life. It's not just for sunny days, but for all days. So, step boldly into the realm of gratitude today.
Embark on your journey to emotional wellness through the power of gratitude. Visit our site today, and let's walk this path together.
~ Lady Jewels
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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