"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always Be Thankful." - Colossians 3:15 NLT
The Apostle Paul exhorts the Colossian believers to ALWAYS Be Thankful, an exhortation that God intends for us to hear as well.
The underlying Greek word interpreted here as "Thankful" is "Eucharistos", and this is the only place in the New Testament where this specific form of the word is used.
If we are honest Being Thankful is not easy. It certainly is NOT something that comes out of our sinful natures. Have you ever seen a parent making their child tell someone, who has given them something, "Thank You"? Sometimes the child will quickly, and energetically comply, but most times it seems like you're asking them to do something painful.
Being Thankful is contrary to the sinful nature, and as such we are repeatedly exhorted, throughout the Bible, to BE Thankful.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon says that to Be Thankful is to be "Mindful of Favors". The word "Mindful" is somewhat self-explanatory; what one's mind is full of. Favor has to do with the good that comes to us from others, in whatever form that "good" may come. So, another way to say it is to "fill our minds with, or to 'Remember', the good things that come to us in our lives".
Regarding the "Good" things in our lives we must remember what scripture says;
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights..." - James 1:17 KJV
Scripture says that EVERY good and perfect gift in our lives comes from God. So to fill our minds with the favor, or "Good" things in our lives is to draw our attention to God's Goodness to us.
Being Thankful shifts the focus from Ourselves to God, from Earth to Heaven, from Bad to Good. To fill our Mind with thoughts of God's impact in and on our lives is to fill our Hearts. The Bible says;
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." - Proverbs 4:23 NLT
When our minds/hearts are filled with all of the Negative things in life the course of our lives will be a negative one. So, as we fill our minds/hearts with the Good things, the God things, the course of our lives will follow God's desires for us.
I can't help but believe that all true believers in Christ want their lives to follow God's plans and desires for them. Being thankful to God, keeping at the forefront of our minds, our consciousness, the Good in our lives, is Key to keeping God, His will, His plans, as that which determines the trajectory of our lives for Good.
Take some time, not only in this Thanksgiving holiday season, but in everyday life to BE THANKFUL. It keeps God and HIS Goodness as the focus of our lives, directing us toward His good plans for us.
Blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving!