grate•ful

/ˈɡrātfəl/

ADJECTIVE

feeling or showing an appreciation

of kindness; thankful.

Gratitude. Thankfulness.

Appreciation. Acknowledgement.

Why is it so hard to focus on gratitude? Well, there are a plethora of circumstances – war, hunger, poverty, human trafficking, just to name a few – to be ungrateful for in this life. However, despite these, there are actually many more reasons to GIVE THANKS! Love, hope, inspiration, creativity, nature, community… As believers, we’re actually called to have a posture of thankfulness and gratitude. Over this 5-day devotional, we will dig deeper into our call to give thanks and how it can actually change the world!

So grab a journal and a few minutes out of your day as we walk through the scriptures with Jacob Coyne and tune our hearts to thankfulness!

Please accept marketing cookies to watch this video.

WATCH

The short devotional with our friend, Jacob Coyne

READ

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24; Psalm 118

REFLECT

When is it most difficult to give thanks? Reflect on 1 Thessalonians, knowing Paul’s background and circumstances, yet his assurance in gratitude. Then, read and ponder Psalm 118, as David describes the turmoil he experienced, yet God’s goodness through it. Write down a few truths, found in scripture, that can ground you in gratitude during these times.

* Referring to anxiety as an emotion, not as a medical condition.

Psalm 107 encourages, and almost implores us, to give thanks! Why should we? For God is good, and His love endures forever. What can we give thanks for? When you really spend some time pondering this question, you’ll see that the list is endless. Here’s a start of what we can be thankful for: God’s goodness, His promises that stand forever, His faithfulness throughout all generations, the forgiveness and redemption we can receive through His son, Jesus Christ!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story–those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south… He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” [Psalm 107:1-3, 7-8]

Reading through scripture, there are countless more reasons to give thanks! What if you took 5 minutes today to voice your thanks to God? “For he is good, and his love endures forever!”

READ

Psalm 107; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

REFLECT

In Psalm 107, notice how David acknowledges some of the common calamities of life (especially in the era of writing) – exile/wandering, imprisonment, sickness, and danger (at sea). However, in each of these situations, he counters with an example of God’s faithfulness in answering the prayers of His people. Recall a time when God answered your prayers in a time of distress. Voice your thanks today, for his faithfulness and steadfast love for you! In 1 Corinthians, we see a truth that remains, despite our circumstances. Thank you, God!

Please accept marketing cookies to watch this video.

WATCH

The short devotional with our friend, Jacob Coyne

READ

Philippians 4:1-13

REFLECT

What would happen if we had a posture of gratitude instead of fear and anxiety*? The truth is, we can’t make this change on our own or overnight. With God’s grace, and practice, however, we can begin to see His love, joy and peace overflow in our life. Start practicing this today. Write down a few things that you are worried about right now and ask for God’s guidance in replacing that anxiety with grace and gratitude.

“God, show me where I can replace fear and anxiety with gratitude and thanks. Even in my distress you are with me. As I model my life after Christ, I pray that my posture will shift also.”

* Referring to anxiety as an emotion, not as a medical condition.

Peace is defined as “freedom from disturbance; tranquility; and calm.” In the turbulent world we live in, it’s no surprise that people often feel the need for peace. No matter your home country or ethnicity, your past or experiences, your political views or religion, we can all agree that peace is good and needed in our world today. The problem is, we have a hard time finding it!

For most of us in the western world, success is seen in the possessions or titles we hold – and we have a lot of those. Unfortunately, with more success and possessions comes more stress, worries, fears, and less… peace. So, where can we find peace when it seems absent?

Colossians 3 notes these words – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… and be thankful… and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:15, 17)

We see here that peace comes from outside ourselves. It comes from Christ. So, if we’re going to obtain it in our busy, everyday lives, we have to look to Christ! More specifically, as Colossians said, we have to give thanks! In all things, in whatever we say or do, give thanks to the Father. As we fill our lives with gratitude, the peace of Christ will rule in our hearts.

In turbulent times, gratitude may be the last thing on our minds. But, if we make a consistent practice of thankfulness, peace will follow. When we focus on what we’re thankful for, as opposed to all the things that are wrong or that could go wrong, we recenter our thoughts and our lives around the goodness of God. Because He IS good and His plans for us are GOOD.

READ

Colossians 3; Philippians 4:4-7

REFLECT

When was a time where you truly felt at peace? Were you on a beach, having some quality alone time, or with people you love? Take a moment to recall that feeling, maybe journal about it. Try to pinpoint what might be stealing your peace today. Is it business? Current events? Anxiety about life changes? Write about them. Then, recognize that God’s peace is available to you at all times. Start with thanks and peace will follow.

Please accept marketing cookies to watch this video.

WATCH

The short devotional with our friend, Jacob Coyne

READ

Isaiah 12

REFLECT

What do you hope for for the world? If YOU could inspire change, what would you do? By shifting your gaze to gratitude, your attitude and life WILL be inspiring! Think and journal about how you can take small steps today to make this shift. Instead of blaming, complaining, and groaning, what if we – as a group – encouraged, celebrated, and built up one another!

Change can start with you, but it doesn’t have to end there! If you’ve been inspired and encouraged by this study, share it with a friend. Then, one life at a time, we can truly begin to change the world!

Want to stick around for more content like this? Sign up here!

You can follow us on social media here: