On Being Thankful

By Marcia Greenwood

God's Word commands Christians to be thankful (COLOSSIANS 3:15).

Being thankful is not a choice for a Christian. If it were impossible for us to do, God would not have told us to do it.

COLOSSIANS 3:17 (NKJ) And whatever you do in word or deed; do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Both faith and thanksgiving need to be taught. They do not just happen. As you grow in understanding, your faith will grow and your thanksgiving will grow.

Giving of thanks is always appropriate. We should be thankful to people for all they do, as well as to God. When should we give thanks? Continually!

HEBREWS 13:15 (NKJ) Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

When should we give thanks? Always!

EPHESIANS 5:20 (NKJ) giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No matter how dark and hopeless a situation may look - give thanks. This is God's will for you. Thank Him for the opportunity to see His deliverance. Thank Him for His mercy and grace. Thank Him for His faithfulness. Thank Him for defeating the devil and setting you free in Christ Jesus. Thank Him that Jesus is Lord in your life. Thank Him that your name is written in Heaven. Thank Him for loving you and taking good care of you. Thank Him! Thank Him!

PHILIPPIANS 4:6 (NKJ) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Instead of worrying taking hold of our prayers, scripture tells us to be thankful in our praying.

COLOSSIANS 4:2 (NKJ) - Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

We are to be thankful for people, too.

EPHESIANS 1:16 ... and 1 THESSALONIANS 1:2 (NKJ) I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

1 TIMOTHY 2:1 (NKJ) Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.

It is easy to thank God for those people who love and help us. Those who do not are harder to be thankful for. Yet Timothy says to give thanks for ALL men.


As we give thanks it keeps bitterness and hatred from taking root in us. It keeps our attitude straight. It helps us to remember that no matter how bad someone may be, God still loves them and desires to redeem them from darkness.

God has a plan for them and they are valuable. Everyone was created to contribute something.

So we can begin to see them from God's perspective - what their potential and worth is - not just the wrong they may have done us.

Gratitude is a mark of maturity. Ingratitude is a mark of immaturity. Do babies thank their parents for all they do? Only after they grow up! A person who is not thankful has never grown up. The cure for unhappiness is being thankful.

Depression is caused by ingratitude about:

    1. Who you are, or are not.
    2. What you have, or do not have.
    3. What you do, or do not get to do.

You cannot be happy without being thankful.
You cannot be thankful without being happy.