Thank You Day

 ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Sunday 7th July has been billed as ‘Thank You day’, when we are encouraged to thank people who help us – teachers, neighbours, people in our families or communities. However, it’s also well documented that saying thank you more regularly can transform our lives. Many mental health practitioners agree that having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ significantly enhances wellbeing. But there’s not much point in saying thank you unless it’s directed at a real person.

Paul urges the Christians in Thessalonica to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’. He has just warned them to be ready at all times for ‘the day of the Lord’, when Christ will return to judge the world. A solemn thought! But he goes on to tell them how they should live in the meantime, and the same applies to us now.

Why should we be thankful? Paul says that, along with praying and rejoicing, being thankful ‘is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ Don’t we expend a lot of energy trying to find out what is God’s will for our lives? Here it is clearly stated – God’s will is for us to thank him in all circumstances, whether things are going well or it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders; whether we are happy, sad or afraid; whether we’re in good health or suffering illness.

It can be helpful to write down something each day that you are thankful for. Be specific: ‘Thank you, God, for the way the steam from my coffee curls into the air’ or, ‘Thank you, God, for the way chocolate melts on my tongue’. You will quickly realise how extraordinarily rich is the world God has created and the life He has given us within it. You may find yourself going through your day saying hundreds of thank yous as your mind and heart are lifted to the one who gave you life and will sustain it, no matter what your circumstances.

Sarah Dodd