Thanksliving6 min read

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! … I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:4, 11–12, NIV).

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

David York gives us a definition of what Thanksliving is:

  1. An attitude rooted and anchored by faith in God.
  2. Contagious proclamation. One cannot help but tell people about God, Who is the true source of joy.
  3. Permanent. No circumstance or condition can defeat it—ever. Even in the midst of deep sorrow, pain, and affliction, Thanksliving is both possible and appropriate.
  4. Centered, rooted, fed, and focused on Christ Jesus. Without Him it is impossible to attain.
  5. A mindset of contentment and peace regardless of external circumstances.
  6. An obedient response to the will of God that becomes a glory offering.
  7. Hopeful—one day we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken!

Thanksgiving is a holiday set aside to remind us that we should be grateful for God’s provisions. Thanksliving is a daily state that marks us as children of an awesome Father.

©2006 Daniel York ARR. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. 

Thanksliving is about living a life that is thankful for what Christ has done and continues to do for you. It is a life that is overflowing with Christlike living. This is what we see in the Bible time and time again. Psalm 86:12 expresses it well: “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” In Scripture, whole-heartedness means mind, will, emotions, soul, and body. Everything about you and me gives thanks as a response to the Lord. It is an attitude that is anchored in Christ and His work in our lives.

We are called to be thankful for all God has done for us and because of this we are to have a contagiousness about us and how we live our life. Thanksliving is lived out by being and showing our thankfulness for the sacrifice Christ made to free us from the sin that so easily encompasses our lives.

This life of Thanksliving goes with us and is in us through even the most difficult of times in our lives. A little over a year ago, our family’s Thanksliving focus was challenged when one of my grandsons was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was young, a true joy in our life, and then he was gone. The pain of that loss is indescribable, and yet I can still know that the God of all grace and mercy walks with me and my family through this time. We can be thankful for the mercy Jesus showed to my grandson through his Baptism, where He gave to my grandson forgiveness and eternal life. This is what my family and I hold onto each day, knowing our grandson rests in the arms of Jesus.

Living a Thanksliving life means being centered in the life of Christ. He has called us to be in His house of worship called the church. His house of worship is where we are fed and nourished. There have been times in my life where I have been told by family members or friends that they don’t need to go to church to believe. Now, on some level that may be true, but I find an adage that has served me well that says, “I have eaten countless meals and I cannot recall many of them but without eating those meals I would not be alive today.” I may not remember every worship service I have gone to in my life, but I have been fed by God’s Word every time. Without God’s life-giving Word, I would be lost. The world outside wants to pull us away from where we are fed so we can be led astray. Live the life of Thanksliving by coming and being fed in His house by His Word and hearing all that you are thankful for in a loving God who sent His Son to die and rise to life for you.

Thanksliving is living with a mindset of peace and contentment when external circumstances attack your peace on all sides. So many external circumstances can have such a negative effect in your life and your peace. Covid-19 is probably the most significant external circumstance that has impacted so many people’s lives recently. It has threatened many people’s peace and contentment. Yet, through this all, one constant that we hold onto is the fact that in all things God can work for good. God has used this time to bring families closer to one another. God has opened new doors that are being used to reach more people with His life-giving word. God is in charge in all circumstances and, because of that, we can have peace of mind and contentment by relying on and resting in His power.

Thanksliving is about living a life of obedience to the will of God the Father and what He has called us to do. We learn what that all entails by reading and studying His Word. We do this both in the home and at His House of worship. Thanksliving is being a disciple. Being a true disciple is not just being a student or a learner, but a follower: one who applies what he/she has learned to all that he/she says or does in his/her life.

Thanksliving is about living a life that is hopeful. The hope we have and hold onto is in Jesus Christ, Who sacrificed all for us. He endured torture beyond our imagination and suffered death on a cross so that you could live in this hope. The hope Jesus gives to us is the forgiveness for the sins that we have done and do each day. The old self shows its ugly head each day in so many ways that it is almost beyond belief that God could forgive you and me. Yet, He does. Not because of your actions or works, but because of Jesus Christ. Christ is this hope that gives us life. Because you have been given this new life, now you can live that life of thanks. The life of thanks is lived by walking in the ways of Christ—loving you neighbor as yourself, sharing the love of Christ with each person you meet, and loving your enemy.

“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (THANKSLIVING; Colossians 2:6–7).

Photo (c) Michail_Petrov-96/iStock

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About the Author

Rev. Randy Johnson serves as Assistant to the President – Congregation Mission and Ministries North Zone.

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Robert - November 23, 2021

Very well stated!!