In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Christians are instructed to be rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances because it is God’s will for us. Considering our struggles and the many trials and difficulties, giving thanks in our circumstances may be challenging. Cultivating and maintaining a spirit of thankfulness may take effort and maturity especially since we live in a culture that encourages us to act on the basis of how we feel. We may be tempted into ingratitude and may not remember that man does not live by bread alone but by God’s word which includes this direct command we should follow.
Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky a psychologist from University of California who has written extensively on the subject of happiness list several health benefits to persons maintaining an attitude of gratitude. She claims that persons can improve their prosperity by some 40% by adopting a disposition of appreciation. Some of the health benefits of being a thankful person include: a bolstered self-worth and self-esteem, coping better with stress and trauma, strengthened relationships, inhibited harmful comparisons and diminished or deterred negative feelings such as anger, bitterness, and greed.
While gratitude may not come naturally to some of us as is demonstrated in Luke 17:11-19, as Christians we should trust God that it is best for us, work at it and be wise to benefits revealed through research.
Let us be grateful people and reap the spiritual and physical rewards.