A Distinguishing Mark

18 … in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus … (1 Thessalonians 5).

This command falls naturally on the heels of rejoicing always and praying without ceasing. For to “give thanks” to God is a prayer in itself either as a result of joy, or resulting in joy. To be “in Christ Jesus” is to walk in an attitude of joy and thanksgiving being expressed to God. This is His will for us and it will never change.

According to Romans 1, all “ungodliness and unrighteousness” is characterized by those who do not honor God “nor give thanks” to Him. Thus, ingratitude to God puts us in the same company of ungodly and unrighteous people, and this is certainly not “God’s will” for us.

It is also important to see that this gratitude is not necessarily for everything—but it is always “in” everything. We must be grateful to God no matter what comes our way. This truly distinguishes true believers from ungodly and unrighteous people, whose religious attitudes produce gratitude only when things are going well.

Lord, we give You thanks for every blessing You have bestowed on us in Christ Jesus. Help us to live This Day with an attitude of gratitude. Amen.