The Scriptures are replete with the command to be thankful and express gratitude.

I am indebted to Dr Ted Boyce who, many years ago, pointed out to me the simple lesson that all our gratitude is to be expressed to God who is the author, provider and sustainer of all things. So, we are to thank God for people who serve, contribute, assist or positively impact the lives of others.

Naturally, this sent me on a search of the Scriptures – and what did I find?

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” Romans 1:8.

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:4.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3.

After reading these verses, do you see the pattern?

Galatians and Titus are the only two letters of Paul that do not overtly express this thanksgiving to God for people. Galatians is a letter expressing shock and grief at the rejection of the true Gospel. So rather than giving thanks, Paul grieves over the Galatians. When he writes to Titus, it is again with shock and grief, because rebellious and deceptive preachers were disrupting the Body of Christ.

So, Paul states “we thank God for you…”. We thank God for the gifts He has given you…”.

Our school culture needs to be one that recognises the goodness of God at all times and in all places. We, and our students, need to know that seeing and rejoicing in the goodness of God is not the same as thanking God only when He gives us all that we want.

Our understanding of thankfulness is not to be determined by the “positive” things we might receive or the ease and comfort of our circumstances.

Thankfulness is linked closely with trust. We will not be genuinely thankful to God until we recognize that we’re dependent on Him for all that we are and all that we have.

We need to know Three Things:

  1. God is Sovereign and purposeful
  2. God is good and loving
  3. God will always do right

Paul tells us that when we are thankful; when we live without complaint, it will cause us to “shine like stars” because this thankfulness will be so counter to the surrounding culture. [1]

We trust you will embrace thankfulness and express gratitude to God in all of life.

[1] Philippians 2:14