Not So Thankful

Background Story: The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians as letter to the church of Ephesus. It is believed he wrote this book while he was in prison.

Read Ephesians 1:3-14

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen,having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Big Idea: Praise and prayer shifts our perspective.

Struggling to be thankful? Wow it’s been tough these past few years on so many levels! If gratitude seems hard right now, let’s try something new today.

First, take a moment to thank God for each of these truths found in Ephesians 1. Quiet your heart and praise Him in your own words for each one of these truths.

  • I am chosen! (v4)
  • I am adopted as God’s son or daughter! (v5)
  • I am forgiven and redeemed through the blood of Jesus! (v7)
  • I am known and accepted by God! (v8)
  • I have a purpose and future! (v11)
  • I have the Holy Spirit as a promise! (v13)

Next, try praying Ephesians 1:17-19 and personalizing this prayer over your own life and the lives of the people around you. When I don’t know what to pray, this passage is something I always go back to praying it over my life and the lives of my family and friends.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you (ME) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you (I) may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your (MY) heart may be enlightened in order that you (I) may know the hope to which he has called you (ME), the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Finally, take time to listen to today’s song praising God for His faithfulness. Praise has a way of helping us throw off discouragement and discontentment to focus instead on the goodness and greatness of God! Through praise and prayer, we find new perspective in the midst of challenging times. Even if your situation doesn’t change, God changes us in the midst of our situation and develops in us a thankful and content heart again.

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