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My pastor often shares 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

He reminds that the scripture doesn’t say “for all things” but “in all things” give thanks. That is a major difference in thought.

Some people believe that the offering of Godly gratitude should be “for” all things. This means, it’s a Christian disciple’s due diligence to dig deep and find a way to thank God for tragedies, lost or disappointments. Of course, doing so identifies that it is from God that that calamities in life come.

There are differences of belief, in the Christian camp, on from where troubles in life emanate. Some point, the cause of all calamities in life ultimately comes from God, in sovereignty, in order to teach and strengthen His children. Others teach that the troubles in life all emanate from Satan referring to the war between good and evil, in which the children of God are in between. Others teach that the troubles of life are the result of decisions good or bad made by people. These are choices made by all people and how ultimately they influence the outcome of life upon themselves and upon others.

Regardless of the view point, the note to the child of God, in 1 Thessalonians, was in the midst of all things give thanks. With that said, not just in the midst of all situations, but before they come and after they go. King David, the worshipper, in Psalms 34:1, says his sincere service to God was to praise him continually.

Over and over the Word of God in scriptures such Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 2:7, Psalms 105:1, 95:2, 106:1, 119:62, 100:4, 107:22 impress the stance of thanksgiving. And, many of these verses shine that this is not just a show of godly gratitude, but actually a lifestyle or a realm of occupancy, which entertains the very presence of God.


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Again Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5, says in all things give thanks. While going through the things of life whether good or bad, we are to offer thanksgiving and gratitude to God.

Why? The scripture continues that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. However mysterious or challenging this may sound, the key is―it is the will of God. The class I taught was “Knowing You Purpose and Destiny” translated―What is The Will of God for My Life?

In this verse, the key that unlocks the mystery―Is that it is the will of God for every person to stay in a posture of gratitude. Again he says, this is God’s will. So doing this (giving thanks) a person has entered into God will.

Thanksgiving is also the first step of worship. Worship according to Jesus’ revelation for the Samaritan woman (and all people) in John 4:23, 24 is that the Father is seeking worshippers. The classified qualification, to this heavenly employment search, is to be ready to worship God―in spirit and in truth.

When a person, by the act of the will gives gratitude to God, the whole spiritual dial of life and each circumstance has turned to the will of God. In essence, a transformation takes place and God is allowed to transform that situation to his plan.

Many people are familiar with Romans 8:28—all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. When we offer thanksgiving to God in the everyday of our life―including situations, those situations are made to be conformable to His will and His Word.

And that is always the area of challenge for the enemy―Satan to have let the circumstance dominate us and make us conformable to them. The truth lives in the more things we can list to give God thanks for, the more things that we allow him to change for His glory and work for our good.

Thanks-giving is a spiritual thing and not just a thing of positive expression. It is the place of miracles. In the Gospel of St John, referring to where Jesus fed a multitude with a lad’s lunch, it’s recorded as not the place of a miracle, but the place where Jesus gave thanks. If this is a principle for the master, then it is a principle for all.

(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) John 6:2.

Psalms 48:2 says God is beautiful for situations.

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

I often use these scripture in my prayers as I thank God for His help & intervention in my life and His supremacy above all things that I encounter. However the word situation here is not talking about circumstances. It refers to height and elevation, hence referring to places on a mountain and the outlook from there.

The application, thanksgiving always changes the altitude or the position of view for the all. When we reflect on life and worship God it is always good to change our view point. When we realize who He is and our position in Him―seated together with him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), our view in life changes and thanksgiving begin to flow. It is thanksgiving that will clear the air, reveal where we are, and see God’s hand at work in our lives and in the earth.

God says in Psalms 91:15 concerning the person who knows Him “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”

Visit our blog and join the crew by listing 30 things that you are thankful for. Afterwards, we will be running a response-post recording changes in your life resulting from this exercise―as we close out this year and enter 2013.


As a life coach, one of the first exercises for new clients is to compile a list of 20 things that they are thankful for in their life. That sounds like an easy task, but you may be surprised. One class, I had to interrupt because the response was taking up too much of the class time. I believe, it’s not the lack of gratitude in people lives that causes hesitation in the exercise, but a lack of the time spent expressing or meditating in it.

The Transformation of Thanksgiving

Commentary by Terrence Clark―Chief Editor,

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