Peace before Gratitude

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

The title of a contemporary hymn is a strong call to action. “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart” focuses on the truth that God gave us His Son Jesus. But it can be hard to have a grateful heart when we feel angry, disappointed, hurt or discouraged. Our emotional responses to life are natural, so sometimes gratitude requires the supernatural.

The world is filled with difficult circumstances, and we all face pain in our lives. If it’s up to us alone to be grateful in the face of such heartache, we’re likely to fail. So we need help. The words of Colossians 3 remind us to let Christ fill our hearts with peace first. But what does that look like?

Perhaps it means asking for forgiveness and offering it to someone who has offended us. Maybe it’s trusting God beyond an uncontrollable circumstance. It could be writing down our worries and problems and then giving them to God.

Ultimately it means asking God for His peace to fill us. True peace comes from Him, and only He can fill us with it. When we ask for it, He is faithful to give it. Then we can be truly thankful no matter our circumstances.

Today’s One Thing

Choose to forgive someone who has hurt you. As you do, replace that pain with gratitude for the loving people in your life.

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