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.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Thanksgiving can be a broad and vague concept. It’s not like you receive anything in return for giving thanks—so why is it important? It is because whether we realize it or not God constantly helps us and supports us in everything that we do. He is always using angels and other people to help us. Even if we live our lives believing in and following the Lord, if we forget to be thankful, we cannot live happy lives. The number of things to be thankful for is countless.
Be thankful that you are alive
Realize how fortunate you are to be alive and healthy. Maybe you were almost run over by a car, or you were really sick from a disease, but you survived. Every person on the face of the earth has faced death and been saved by God many times over.
People don’t realize beforehand that God constantly saves them. It’s only when they are facing death that they call out, “Save me!” But more often God saves people ahead of time. He stops people from travelling the path of death before they even go on it. We wouldn’t last very long without God holding onto us, so be thankful!
Be thankful for your past
Everyday life can be a battlefield, but you have survived thanks to God and the Holy Spirit who have helped you persevere. And be thankful that your family didn’t have any accidents either. The Holy Spirit always took care of you, led you, and guided you. And because of the difficulties you overcame, you grew up well and became bolder. So you should be thankful and grateful that you went through those times in the past.
Be thankful that you came to know God
There were probably times when you didn’t feel like going to church. But at those times, God worked upon you and enabled you to be diligent in your life of faith. Curiosity about the Bible, a desire to pray: God inspires these things. Thank Him for keeping your body and your faith alive.
Be thankful for your parents
Treat your parents well and thank them for taking care of you. Even as you get older, you are still their children. Don’t tell them that you are all grown up because you’ll never be as grown up as they are. Instead, you should express your gratitude to them. And don’t think about only giving thanks through material means but also be thankful through words and actions. Have a thankful heart. If you give thanks, God will bless you even more.