“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel…” – Colossians 1:3-5
I’m sitting here in my flannel shirt and scarf, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, staring at a handful of beautiful Fall-colored leaves that have been tracked into the entryway of my home by four active children. Aaahhh… the Thanksgiving season is upon us, and I think I’m in love.
But here in the Midwest these mild, sunny days and gorgeous Fall colors will soon be replaced by plummeting temperatures and a barren landscape that resembles death more than life – and I think about how these changing seasons often parallel the up-and-down seasons of our lives.
But whether you woke up today in a season of plenty or in a season of want, we can find thanksgiving in our hearts because of a God who never changes.
This week our study will take us to verses where we’ll have the opportunity to rehearse this truth. We won’t read about material abundance, perfect relationships, or earthly governments that have it all together. But we will be reminded that because of Jesus, we can consistently give thanks no matter what season we find ourselves in. As you begin to meditate on God’s Word this week, consider this intro encouragement from Colossians 1:
Give thanks to whom thanks is due.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
Before I come to God in prayer with a list of daily requests (or in my pride neglect to come to Him at all), am I spending time sincerely thanking Him for being the sovereign Source of every good thing? Let’s go out of our way to be grateful children this week – not boasting in ourselves or complaining in our lack – but rather recognizing God’s grace and provision in every area of our lives, then taking time to point all honor and praise back to our good, good Father.
Give thanks for what you now have in Christ.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9
Our earthly view of provision takes on a whole new meaning as we begin to see everything through the lens of Godly graces. Though once in spiritual poverty, as children of God we are now rich in His love and mercy! That shouldn’t just be a Christian phrase that we coldly repeat. We should literally walk, talk, look, and live differently than the rest of the world because of the transforming faith, love, and hope that we have received in Christ. The Colossians had a reputation for these things from afar, and their countercultural living shined so brightly that it caused Paul and others to notice and give thanks back to God. May our lives be that kind of catalyst for others to reflect gratitude back to our great Giver.
Give thanks for the anticipation and hope for what is to come.
“… while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” – Titus 2:13
Oh, that we wouldn’t forget that the taste of God’s graces here on earth is only a glimpse of the fullness of all that God has prepared for us! As followers of Christ, we can live in a constant state of thanksgiving when we take our eyes off of this world – where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal – and we begin storing our treasures in heaven, where sin is no more and we’ll spend eternity in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords!
In order to reflect a heart of gratitude that’s not of this world (but noticed by this world!), we have to get up close and personal and taste and see that the Lord is good, savoring Him as our greatest treasure…
At His feet,
Week 2 Challenge: Spend time in Ephesians 1 this week. Make a list of all of the spiritual blessings recorded in this chapter, then spend time thanking God for all that we have in Christ!
Week 2 Video:
If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.
Week 2 Reading Plan:
Week 2 Memory Verse: