1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Thanksgiving is a sign of gratitude and happiness. We are thankful when our favorite sports team wins the game, for a good shopping bargain or a parking space near the door. Saying “thank you” is a sign of good manners, a social courtesy. Much of thankfulness is an expression of the things in my life that are going well. We are thankful when we are emotionally fulfilled.
I think like most of us I’ve always considered thankfulness to come from my feelings and emotions. But that is not how it’s talked about in Scripture.
Giving thanks opens the door to the presence of God. When things are not going well, my ability to give thanks in that situation is the proclamation that God is at work. Thankfulness in all things is the power to shift my heart toward God in every circumstance. Gratitude is the ability to see in the dark. Gratitude can see what is hidden in the heart of God for me.
My ability to give thanks in the thankless circumstance means that the eyes of my heart are able to behold a God greater than my situation. It means that I really live in the belief that God works all things for my good.