>And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way …joyfully giving thanks to the Father Colossians 1:10, 12

The Bible prescribes a diverse remedy for living a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing God. We are called to bear fruit in every good work, grow in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power, and lastly joyfully give thanks. Giving thanks seems like an easy one.

These instructions reflect Paul’s teaching in First Thessalonians: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”            (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). There is no clearer indication of God’s will for our lives in the Bible than this: be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.

We must note that God’s will is not “all circumstances.” God’s will is that His people would be joyful, prayerful and thankful regardless of the circumstances.

I have to admit. This is not an easy one for me. I can easily tell you everything that is wrong with the circumstance in front of me. But, I tend to take for granted what’s working well. If things are going good, isn’t that the norm? Isn’t that what I should expect? But these problems, can they just go away?

I want things to be better. I want things to improve. And, I am grateful for what God has given me. It just takes a little effort to stop and joyfully give thanks.

When it comes to things that aren’t natural for me, I find that I have to create a system or dare I say a ritual to make sure this happens. After a while, it will start coming more naturally to me.

When I was younger, I would become depressed at the beginning of the month when it came time to pay my bills. Now, granted 20 years ago, I was living in a room at the church and bringing in a whopping $250 per week. Did I mention that I also had a student loan to repay? I would sit down to write the checks (Do you remember checks?) and depression would just overcome me. I felt bad that I felt bad. I even felt a little guilty. I wasn’t living in the lap of luxury, but it was a very short commute to work.

So, I changed my habit. As I sat down at the table with my pile of bills and my checkbook, I would stop and thank God for providing for all of my needs. I would thank Him for allowing me to serve Him in full-time ministry. I would thank Him for the ability to take care of my obligations. This completely transformed my attitude toward paying my bills. Rather than grousing over what I didn’t have, I could joyfully thank God for what I did have.

You and I are some of the wealthiest people in the world. The vast majority would love to trade places with us any day. If you make $48,000 per year, you are in the top 1 percent of the richest people in the world. If you don’t believe me, check out this Wealth Calculator. (Please note, I am not familiar with the charities supported by this website. I would advise you to either give through your church or thoroughly investigate the mission and philosophy of any organization before you support them).

Where are you on the rich list? What can you be thankful for today? Make joyful thanks a habit in your life.

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