Giving Thanks in Everything
"Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
-1 Thessalonians 5:18
Our world today tends to say that we should only give thanks in the midst of good circumstances, so it's easy for us as athletes to give thanks to God after a victory. Now, there's nothing wrong with thanking Him for good Ws, but God challenges us through His Word to adopt a much higher way of living by giving thanks in everything.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (above), the word "thanks" comes from a Greek word that literally means to be "thankful for God's good grace." This kind of thanks never needs to be circumstantial.
While playing basketball at the college level, I found it very difficult to give thanks to God in the midst of losing streaks, injuries, or when I was benched, and I didn't understand why. But now I realize that it's because we get so consumed by the performance in our sport that we forget we are constantly experiencing God's grace in our lives and in our hearts. When we choose to remember the grace and forgiveness God has given us through Christ's death and resurrection on the cross, no loss or disappointing outcome can keep us from giving thanks.
Today, don't allow your life to be just a reflection of thankfulness during good circumstances. Choose to make thankfulness the condition of your heart as an athlete or a coach both in and out of competition. Dwelling on His grace and forgiveness more than your circumstances will allow you to do that.
- As an athlete or coach, in what circumstances do you find it difficult to give thanks to God?
- How would thankfulness change your frame of mind and the condition of your heart?
- What are some things God has done for you that can define the way you live?
- Matthew 14:13-21
- Matthew 26:27-29
- Philippians 4:4