Posts tagged with: 1 Thessalonians

Two girls walking down the street.

Gratitude Reframes Your Relationships

The benefits of gratitude abound. That’s what we learned in yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion. Psychological and medical research has shown that gratitude can lead to increased patience, improved relationships, better sleep, and superior mental health, among many other demonstrated benefits. But, I wonder if there are benefits beyond those found in academic journals? How does gratitude affect our experience of God and God’s people?

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Les Botteleurs de Foin by Jean-Francois Millet (1850)

Thankful Work

It’s worth remembering that our position, privilege, and responsibility are meant to bless others, not just ourselves. Giving thanks for our blessings is intended to provoke us to respond to those blessings in a way that benefits others. We are called as God’s people to care for those who are disadvantaged—“the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns (that they) may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 14:29).

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The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, public domain.

Finding Joy in Work

God alone is the source of our joy, in our work as in everything else. Our joys are like a metaphorical tree, where God is both the root and trunk. All else in our lives, including our work, are like the branches, leaves, and fruit. No joy in our lives is sustainable apart from being rooted in and connected to God. [And] because God calls us to be his servants, all work serves his purpose and therefore has ultimate meaning, even when we can’t make sense of it here and now.

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The word "thanks" spelled out with Scrabble pieces.

Give Thanks in All Circumstances! Really?

I’m struggling a bit with gratitude this week. Oh, to be sure, I have plenty to be thankful for. And I am thanking God regularly. But I’m also feeling heavy of heart because my mother is not doing well.

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Photo: "Grace" by Eric Enstrom, 1918

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, so I have set apart this whole week for devotions on gratitude. Today, I want to consider a verse from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (5:18).

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