Thankfulness Is a Choice

This week I (Stephen) have been struck by the goodness of God. Not everything in my life right now is perfect or even easy but, I still feel this overwhelming thankfulness to God—God is moving in our church!

But I don’t always feel like this. I am often so easily distracted by the worries of life that I fail to show God the gratitude He rightly deserves. Here’s the truth: God should have our gratitude no matter how we feel in the moment.

One of my favorite people in Scripture is Daniel, and one of my favorite passages is Daniel 6. You know the story—it’s the lion’s den. In case you need a refresher of the details, other government leaders became jealous of Daniel’s leadership, so they tricked King Darius into making a law that Daniel would break: no praying to anyone except King Darius for 30 days.

This was Daniel’s response: When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upstairs room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (10)

Did you catch that? Not only did Daniel keep praying to God as usual, he thanked God. Daniel didn’t have favorable circumstances—so I’m sure he didn’t feel like it. But he chose to show God gratitude no matter what.

I know that talking about thankfulness is something that normally happens in November, but I wanted to share it now because it can seem cliched near Thanksgiving—because that’s what we’re supposed to talk about when it’s nearing turkey time.

But maybe in mid-August, it hits a little differently.

Let’s be a church that is thankful—truly thankful—to God. Gratitude toward God is simply expressing to God that you recognize His work in and around you and that you appreciate it. It’s not dependent on feelings or circumstances—it’s solely dependent on our good, never-changing God!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)