We feel the obligation to be grateful when we receive a bonus at work, or a clean biopsy report, or an unexpected break in the weather. And of course we are supposed to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day in America.
The Bible, though, makes it plain that a grateful spirit is to characterize our everyday life, actions, aspirations, motivations. In every circumstance we are to give thanks ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
But how is this even possible? In our age and culture â€“ which perhaps struggles with discontent as much as any in history â€“ what does constant gratitude even look like?
It begins with first understanding what true, biblical thanksgiving consists of, and is defined as. Biblical gratitude to God is centered in the Gospel, and then echoes back to God in thanksgiving for who he is for us in Jesus Christ.
When we center our thanksgiving in the Gospel, the question becomes -- not how could God command us to give thanks in every circumstance, but -- how could we not be thankful?