by Rick Warren — June 21, 2022
From The Habits of Happiness
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
In many cultures around the world, people set aside certain days or seasons for giving thanks. But God wants you to be intentional about your thankfulness every day. He wants you to develop this spiritual habit, one that is reflected in the life of a radical believer. The more deeply you understand God’s love, the more grateful you’re going to be.
What does it mean to be radically grateful?
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV). In every circumstance give thanks—because it’s God’s will for your life. That’s radical gratitude.
How can you be thankful even in difficult circumstances? You can thank God in every circumstance because he is in control. He can bring good out of evil. He can turn around the worst mistakes you’ve made. No matter what happens, God isn’t going to stop loving you.
You can find a hundred things to be thankful for in any circumstance, even when the circumstance stinks.
Radical gratitude—being thankful in all circumstances—is God’s will because it creates fellowship. What do I mean by that? Gratitude always builds deeper relationships between you and other people and between you and God.
If you want to get closer to someone, start expressing gratitude to that person. Maybe you’re feeling distant from your spouse. You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling because you stopped doing the things that created that lovin’ feeling early on—and now you take each other for granted. Start doing what you did when you were dating: Express gratitude. Write little notes of kindness and encouragement. Call or text during the day, just to tell your spouse that you’re thankful for them.
Do you want to build your small group? Don’t just go to your gathering. During the week, contact the people in your group. Say, “I’m grateful for you, and here’s why.” You’ll find that the more grateful you are for your group, the more your group will bond.
Let us “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5 NIV).