How can I cultivate thankfulness when I don't feel very thankful?


1 Thessalonians 5:18

NIV - 18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 14 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I view it as similar to God's command to love our neighbors. The fact that God commands it, or that (as noted by Paul in the verse cited in the question) it is God's will for us to be thankful, indicates that neither of these two actions (love or thankfulness) are to be based on emotion or "feelings", but are instead each a conscious act of the will.

With regard to that, the Christian commentator C. S. Lewis noted that, once a person asks, "How would I act if I possessed Christian love toward another person?" (even if not yet feeling that love), and then begins to act in that manner, the person will find that his feelings will follow, and fall in line with those actions. I would say that thankfulness would follow the same pattern.

For me, that process begins by realizing that there is nothing about me (as a sinful human being) that would warrant love from a holy God. And yet that same God loved me personally to such a degree as to sacrifice His own Son to die so that I could live eternally with Him. I then proceed to think of the earthly blessings that I have received from Him (despite whatever difficulties of the moment I may be experiencing), and I don't need to get very far in that long list, before any worries or concerns that I may have are overtaken and surpassed by thankfulness. (And if any such worries or concerns are not present or can't be identified, that's just something else to thank Him for.)

November 14 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Yes, thanksgiving is commanded by God, as Mr. Tim Maas has so aptly said referring to 1 Thess. 5:18, and also in Psa. 50:14 and it should be offered back to God, Psa. 50:14; to Christ, 1 Tim. 1:12; through Christ, Rom. 1:8; Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15; in the name of Christ, Eph. 5:20; on behalf of ministers, 2 Cor. 1:11; in private worship, Dan. 6:10; in public worship, Psa. 35:18; and here, in everything, 1 Thess. 5:18!

Just thinking of the benefits of thankfulness, you will want to cultivate it in your life:

Studies show that grateful people:

1. Make friends more easily and have better relationships.

2. Have better physical health.

3. Have better psychological health. 

4. Are more compassionate and generous.

5. Are less resentful, jealous, and aggressive.

6. More easily overcome trauma and loss.

7. Are less stressed and sleep better.

8. Have better immune systems and healthier hearts.

9. Do better in their careers and are better team players.

10. Are less materialistic. 

11. Are more optimistic.

12. Are less self-centered.

13. Have higher energy levels and are more productive.

14. Feel more joyful and content.

15. Are more relaxed.

November 14 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

20171110 114607 Gbemisola Femi Ayeni
Gbemisola Femi-Ayeni
The Bible expressly commands us to give thanks to God in everything -1 Thessalonians 5:18. This means we are to give thanks to God whether our mood or feeling dictates that we thank Him or not. It is true that we go through some situations that the natural reaction is to complain, grumble or start a self-pity party but such attitude negates God's instruction to His children.

The thing to do in such situation therefore is to take stock of God's goodness to you as an individual; look back at those times that He came through for you and thank Him for those. Also meditate on His words like Jeremiah 29: 11, Romans 8: 28 knowing that He has your back and He is working something good out. When you do this, His praise will fill your heart and you will definitely erupt in thanksgiving to Him Who deserves it.

November 27 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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