Message Notes

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(NLT)

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Why God Commands us to Give Thanks in every circumstance.

God wants us to give thanks in the good times because thanksgiving promotes God’s glory and develops humility in us.

God wants us to give thanks in the difficult times because it is an act of faith.

What Can We Thank God for in Tragic Times?

We give thanks for a God who is working beyond the circumstances.

We give thanks because we affirm, trust, and yes, even celebrate, the character of God. 

We give thanks for a sure Hope beyond the grave.

We give thanks for the Savior who made this hope possible.

We give thanks for a supernatural strength to get through devastation.


Why We Often Neglect to Give Thanks in the Good Times

  • Sometimes we neglect to give thanks because we feel we have earned what we have.


  • Sometimes we neglect to give thanks because we are too greedy yearning for more.


  • Sometimes we neglect to give thanks because we have taken what we have for granted.


How To Give Thanks in All Circumstances.

  1. Sometime when you are alone slowly look around your home and NOTICE the things you have to be thankful for.
  2. In your quiet time list as many things as you can in God’s character that you can be thankful for.
  3. Make it a point to say thanks to those you cherish. Be specific. Maybe you’ll need to write it down. Maybe you’ll need to make a phone call.
  4. Before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, look around the table. Really see the faces that are there. Don’t focus on the food . . . focus on those you share the meal with. Go around the table and express your gratitude [Maybe you’ll want to do this before the food is put out]. Go ahead and say a prayer. Thank God for the food and for your family.
  5. And if this is a hard Thanksgiving. Take the time to talk about the Lord. Remind yourself and those around you that He is good, his love endures forever, and His faithfulness will never cease. Remind yourself of when days were better. Tell stories of the past. Remind with fondness and maybe with tears. . . . . and then look forward to the future day when the tears will be dried, the pain will be gone, and the smile of Jesus will bring a joy this world has never known.


Discussion Questions

  • Verse 17 tells us to “pray continually.” In what ways are you challenged by this?
  • Think of something difficult you’re going through right now. What about it can you be thankful for?
  • What is the connection between being joyful, prayerful and thankful?

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