Years ago, I read a fascinating article called “How the New Science of Thank You Can Change Your Life.” Apparently, scientific research has now been able to prove what God has been teaching people since the days of Cain: practicing gratitude can actually make us healthier – literally!!
Paul was no stranger to pain and hardship. He knew what it was to be hated, persecuted, beaten and left for dead. He did time in prison, dealt with chronic physical disability, and extended emotional distress. Sometimes, Paul was left holding the bag, when all his friends and fellow workers simply abandoned him. There was a lot about his life that you and I might find hard to be grateful for.
So what did Paul mean by this instruction to the beleaguered believers in Thessalonica?
Though I originally joined the other three members of our church’s teaching team in giving a series of four short talks for our Thanksgiving service, it seemed like good timing to bring it out now, as we try to grapple with how COVID 19 has changed our lives.