As Christians, God has called us to live a life of thanksgiving. But why? Why should we give thanks?

Well, simply put, because God said to be: In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

There it is. Give thanks in everything because that is God’s will for you.

Allow me to dig deeper with three points of clarification:

First, giving thanks in everything shows submission rather than rebellion. To submit to God’s will in everything means that we thank him for it rather than rebel against it. This moment, whatever it holds, is God’s sovereign plan for my growth. It is one of the days that was ordained for me that God knew about before there was even one of them (Psa 139:16). So I submit with thankfulness, knowing that it could be worse, even if it were better.

Second, giving thanks in everything show humility rather than arrogance. To be humble in my present experience of God’s will for my life means that I will be thankful for it. Arrogant people don’t give thanks because they think they deserve whatever they received. They have an attitude of entitlement, rather than an attitude of humility. The discipline of gratitude flows easily from a humble heart. It is a particular display of humility to give thanks in things we don’t understand, because then we acknowledge God’s greatness in controlling all events, not just the “good ones.”

Third, giving thanks in everything show dependence rather than sufficiency. To be dependent on God means to receive with thanksgiving whatever he gives me knowing that if he did not give it to me, I would not have it. Paul said to the Corinthians, What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Cor 4:7). There is nothing in our lives that we have apart from God. Even the breath you just took is the gift of God to you. You are dependent on him, whether you like it or not.

I should be thankful to God in all things because whatever I have is better than what I deserve. Even the “bad things” in life are a part of God’s loving and gracious control of his universe. Not even one hair of my head falls to the ground without his knowledge.

So live a life of submissive, humble dependence on God, taking each moment as an opportunity to fulfill his will for you by giving thanks no matter the circumstances.