In this article, I will be discussing the Biblical benefits of gratitude. This study will be taken from the book, Militant Thankfulness: An Essential Practice to Experiencing a Full Spiritual Life.
Throughout this series, I will present the immense blessings and benefits of thankfulness as presented by Scripture. And, by the end of this series, you and I will be able to identify some profound benefits of gratitude, as well as come to the conclusion that the intentional and ongoing practice of thanksgiving is an essential spiritual disciple for the Christian life.
Let us explore 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19. From this Passage, we will identity how the practice of thankfulness places one in the will of God, and how it is a practice that enable to the believer to better "walk in the Spirit." Let us take a look at 1 Thess. 5:18-19...
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19). This little string of verses in 1 Thessalonians is incredibly deep. In the first session in this series, we discovered that the practice of gratitude directly combats the flesh. It is diametrically opposed to our sinful and fallen nature. You and I learned that being intentional and active to give thanks helps to defeat the inherent torments of the flesh so that we can better experience the heights of the spiritual life in Christ.
In this Passage, we discover something equally fascinating. Check this out:
"this passage illustrates how thankfulness not only stifles the lusts of the flesh, but it is one of the ways believers walk in the Spirit. This passage (1Thess. 5:12-28) was inspired to follow a pattern similar to an ancient Hebrew Chiasm. They are similar in that repetitious imperatives are communicated with a central point being the main emphasis of the whole section. In short, we are to understand that verse nineteen ('Do not quench the Holy Spirit') is the glue that holds this passage together, and it is the prominent motif of these sixteen verses. This means that verse nineteen is the premise through which all other verses in that section are to be understood and interpreted" (excerpt from Militant Thankfulness).
So what does that mean to you and me?! This means that practicing thankfulness better enables the believer to "walk in the Spirit." According to this Passage, "giving thanks in all circumstances" helps to keep from quenching the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us (and through us). You see... the practice of thanksgiving can be understood as the action of seeking opportunity to thank God. This is important because it helps to move the mind off ourselves and our situations and onto our Savior. As we seek opportunities to thank and praise God, we find ourselves more and more sensitive to His presence and His counsel.
For more information on this topic, you can check out the other articles in this series. You can, also, consider purchasing Dusty's book, Militant Thankfulness: An Essential Practice to Experiencing a Full Spiritual Life. I highly recommend it!
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Married with two boys, Dusty is dedicated to his family, the Church were he pastors, and the life-long pursuit of knowing God more fully. There is nothing Dusty loves more than serving God by helping others understand the treasures of Scripture.