New Wine - Day 30

Giving Thanks

Spiritual Practice #2, Giving Thanks.

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

We can thank God in all circumstances because he is sovereign over all things; he is infinitely wise and infinitely loving. He is in control of all things; nothing can happen unless he allows it, and in his infinite love and wisdom, he causes all things to work together for our good, as it says in Romans:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

We don’t have to thank God for pain or tragedy or sadness, but we can thank him that even amid horrible things, he loves us and will somehow work all things for our good.

But even when God blesses us, or life is going fine, we can so easily forget to thank God for our blessings. So, one of the spiritual disciplines for the Christian life is to thank God daily. It is a practice that humbles us, and brings us to the mercy seat of God.

I try to spend some time giving thanks before I start asking God for things. It’s not legalistic; I can pray first if I want to, but I think of Psalm 100:4: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

One way I try to “enter his gates with thanksgiving” is after meditating on God’s word, I usually write 1 page of things I’m thankful for in a journal, I use my phone notes most of the time, but I know some people use the companion journal here at Crosswalk.

I start with something like, “God, thank you for…” and begin writing. It’s not usually anything deep. It might be as simple as “Thank you for the sunshine,” or “Thank you that I got to spend some time with my family,” or “Thank you for another day of life.”
Or I might thank the Lord for spiritual blessings, like, “Thank you for saving me,” or “Thank you for paying for all my sins on the cross,” or “Thank you for giving me eternal life.” I don’t write for anyone else to read or worry about being profound; I want to say thanks for everything.

The point is always, that I get down to the idea that I am grateful for the little things, the big things, and everyone in between. That I give thanks as a discipline every day.

  1. What are you thankful for today? Did you write it down? 
  2. How can you create a spirit of thankfulness in your life? 
  3. What is the smallest thing you are grateful for, and what is the biggest? 

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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1 Comment

Laurey Blinn - January 29th, 2024 at 8:05am

What do you say when you are questioned as to why God “allows” such bad things to happen such as the Holocaust, genocide in Gaza, etc.? My friends who are atheist say this is why they do not believe. Their argument is that a truly loving and all powerful God would not allow these things to happen to his believers. I have to admit I struggle with it too. Thank you for any insight. Morning worship has become my strength due to the messages of daily study. They are relevant and pertinent to our survival in this world.