Giving thanks in all circumstances is a command given to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This verse encourages us to have an attitude of gratitude in every situation we face in life, whether good or bad. But why does God call us to do this? Here are some key reasons:
1. It demonstrates trust in God’s sovereignty
When we give thanks in the midst of difficulties, it shows that we trust God is in control of all things. Even when life doesn’t make sense, we believe that God has a purpose and plan. Thanking God is an act of faith that He knows what He’s doing. As Romans 8:28 says, “for those who love God all things work together for good.” Hard times are part of God’s plan to shape us and draw us closer to Him. Giving thanks demonstrates we trust His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
2. It reflects God’s character
God’s character does not change based on circumstances. He is good and loving despite what is happening around us (Psalm 136:1). When we give thanks in everything, it shows we understand God’s nature. He is constant when life is inconsistent. Thanking Him reminds us of who He is – kind, compassionate and faithful. Our gratitude reflects His graciousness.
3. It defeats the enemy
The enemy wants us to complain, be bitter and lose hope when we face trials. But when we give thanks in hardship, it crushes Satan’s plans for our life. The Bible says to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Thanking God in difficulties counteracts the enemy’s schemes and reminds us God has already won the victory!
4. It changes our perspective
Giving thanks shifts our focus from the problem to God’s presence and provision. As we thank Him, our eyes are lifted up. We gain an eternal perspective, remembering this world is not our home. Pain is temporary but God’s glory is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). We can even give thanks for the lessons learned in trials and the refinement of our character. Thanking God helps us see setbacks differently.
5. It leads us to worship
When we thank God in the midst of adversity, pain or challenges, it inevitably leads us into His presence. As we reflect on His goodness and sovereignty, our hearts overflow with praise. Giving thanks draws us closer to the Father and lifts our eyes to see Him more clearly amid the storm. As we thank Him, we are led into deeper worship, even in the valley.
6. It displays God’s power to others
When believers give thanks in dire circumstances, it shows the world God’s power at work within us. They see firsthand the difference He makes in someone’s life. Our grateful attitude, despite hard times, demonstrates His peace and joy. When those far from God ask how we can be thankful in suffering, it opens doors to share the gospel. Our gratitude points people to the Lord.
7. It allows us to rejoice always
The Bible tells us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4). But how can we rejoice in the midst of grief, loss or pain? Giving thanks unlocks continuous joy and reminds us of God’s promises. As we thank Him for what He has done and will do, our hearts are filled with praise. Gratitude opens the door for His presence and “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). We can rejoice always as we give thanks in everything.
8. It brings contentment
An attitude of gratitude leads to godly contentment. When we give thanks, we become less focused on what we don’t have and more thankful for what we do have. We stop comparing and complaining. Thanking God for His blessings quietens anxious thoughts. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11-12).
9. It gives us strength for the journey
Thanking God in adversity strengthens and sustains us for the road ahead. “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” (Psalm 95:2-3). Through gratitude, we gain new courage and resilience. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past fortifies our faith. It helps us stand firm and finish the race. Thanking Him renews our inner strength.
10. It multiplies blessings
Gratitude opens the door for God to move and provide in fresh ways. “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11). Thanking God for what we already have unleashes His goodness in greater measure. He loves to bless grateful hearts. As we thank Him for His gifts, He delights to give us more.
11. It draws us nearer to God
There is incredible power in thanking God during difficulties and refocusing our minds on His eternal purposes. When we choose gratitude in the storm, our eyes are fixed on Jesus rather than the waves around us. Gratitude anchors our souls to the Rock and reminds us He will never leave us. An attitude of thanksgiving draws us closer to the Father, even in pain, sorrow or turmoil.
12. It allows joy to overflow to others
When believers give thanks in all things, the supernatural joy of the Lord radiates through us. Our gratitude and contentment are a witness to the watching world. As others see we have unshakeable hope despite hardships, it draws them to Jesus. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15). Our joyful gratitude can point others to salvation.
13. It fuels worship that glorifies God
There is awesome power released in the church when God’s people give thanks in difficulties and exalt His name in the darkness. This magnifies God’s splendor and majesty. “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” (Psalm 29:2). Our gratitude gives God the glory He deserves. We proclaim He reigns over all things, now and forevermore.
14. It allows us to be a blessing to others
When we have an attitude of praise in trials, God equips us uniquely to minister to others facing similar battles. We become wellsprings of hope and vehicles of His comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Our gratitude opens doors to support others.
15. It enables us to receive God’s best
A heart of thanksgiving positions us to be receptive to all God desires us to have and become. Gratitude makes room for Him to move powerfully on our behalf. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15). Thanksgiving paves the way for His blessings to overflow into our lives, families, and communities.
16. It completes our joy
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Giving thanks in all things – even in the midst of suffering – completes our joy in Jesus. As we keep our eyes fixed on Him, our temporary trials produce incomparable eternal glory.
17. It wins the battle in the mind
Choosing an attitude of gratitude helps us win the battle waging in our minds. When we give thanks, anxiety and fear are defeated. Our thoughts align with truth, not feelings. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8). Gratitude focuses us on the hope of eternity.
18. It activates blessings
Thanksgiving sets off a chain reaction of blessings in the spiritual realm. As we lift our voice in praise, God releases angels to carry out His will in power. “Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!” (Psalm 103:20). Choosing gratitude rather than complaining aligns us with the heart of God and His kingdom purposes.
19. It postures our hearts to receive more
When we pause to thank God before petitioning Him, it postures our hearts well to receive all He desires for us. We humble ourselves when we express gratitude for what He has already done. Thanksgiving prepares us rightly to come before His throne of grace. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).
20. It opens the floodgates of heaven
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:10). Just like tithing, gratitude expresses our radical trust in God’s faithfulness. It releases breakthrough from heaven as God delights to pour out blessings on surrendered, thankful hearts.
In summary, giving thanks in everything is a privilege, act of worship and demonstration of our faith. As we choose to thank God amid trials and triumphs, breakthrough is released. Gratitude transforms our perspective and postures our hearts to receive fresh blessing. An attitude of thanksgiving brings glory to God and leads others to know His goodness. Let’s thank Him today!