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
Do you know someone who is particularly grateful? If you do, you know that a grateful person stands out in a crowd. This is because a grateful person understands the gifts they have been given every day, and they practice gratitude as a result. One thing that you will find when you are around a grateful person is that they are often not worried. Why? I know, and you probably do too from experience, that it is hard to worry when you focus on gratitude.
According to the apostle Paul, when we feel tempted to turn to worry, gratitude is a certain way to quell that worry when it comes on. He wrote about this in Colossians 3. In this chapter, Paul wrote about what characteristics and character traits followers of Christ are called to clothe themselves in. These characteristics and character traits include kindness, humility, patience, and more. As He wrote these things, he wrote to readers, “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” (verse 15). This peace that Paul wrote about in this verse is the antithesis of worry. When we are at peace, we are not likely to be overtaken by worry. Of course, we will still be concerned about challenges and hard times that arise, but peace allows us to trust God and be confident even during these times. After writing these words, he instructed readers, “Always be thankful” (verse 15). When we are grateful, worry fades and gives way to peace instead.
Notice that Paul’s command in Colossians 3 said, “Always be thankful.” That means we are to practice gratitude in every situation we face in the good times and the bad. There is certainly always something to be thankful for. And that gratitude will give way to peace in the middle of fear and worry. God has blessed us greatly, regardless of what situation we find ourselves in. So let’s pause and name our blessings today.
What do you have to be grateful for? Pull out a sheet of paper or a notebook and write a list of all of the gifts that God has given you. List at least 10 things. After writing this list, thank God. Thank Him for everything He has done for you and given you. Next, thank the people in your life who are involved in these gifts that God has given you.
Colossians 3:1-17 (NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 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.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
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