Verse: Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIrV)
Big Idea: Give thanks to God no matter what.
What makes you thankful? Playing with friends? Getting good grades? Winning a game?
What about when you’re fighting with your friends or you get a bad grade or your team loses? Are you still thankful then?
It’s much easier to be thankful when life’s going our way. The good things in our lives motivate us to give thanks. A truly thankful person, however, learns to give thanks no matter what.
Think about Peter and his friends, for example. They stood up in the street and told everyone about Jesus. It got them arrested and beaten by a group of leaders called the Sanhedrin. Doesn’t sound like they had much to be thankful for, does it?
Yet the Bible says, “The apostles were full of joy as they left the Sanhedrin. They considered it an honor to suffer shame for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41 NIrV).
Or how about Paul and Silas? They got attacked and thrown into jail for doing God’s work. They were locked up deep inside a dungeon. Surely they wouldn’t be thankful.
The Bible, though, tells us otherwise. It says, “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God” (Acts 16:25 NASB).
What’s up with that? Were these guys crazy? No, they were just thankful for things that no one could take away.
Paul, Silas, Peter and the apostles all knew no matter how many bad things happened to them, God was still good. He was still in control and had a good plan for their lives, and that made them thankful.
They knew all the hard things in life were just temporary, and someday Jesus would return and make everything right. That made them thankful too.
But they also knew Jesus loved them and died for them and rose again. They knew that because of Jesus, they got to become forever friends with God. And that made them most thankful of all.
Think About It:
When you have good things in your life, thank God for them. But even when those good things go away, keep on thanking God. Thank him for his goodness and his love. Thank him for the cross and the empty tomb. Thank him for the hope of heaven, where one day all of Jesus’ friends will live happily ever after with him.
Prayer: God, thank you for your goodness and love that no one can take away. Help me to be thankful to you no matter what. Amen.
Talk About It:
1. What good things in your life are you thankful for right now?
2. What bad things make it hard to be thankful right now?
3. What can you thank God for that no one can take away?