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24 March 2022

The Gift of Gratitude

  • From the Head of Middle School

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I really appreciated reading Helen Vonow’s newsletter article in our Week 5 newsletter about what tools we have in our ‘Tool Box’. Point 4 was on gratitude. Why is it God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances? If you’re anything like me, I like to give thanks when circumstances suit me, when things work out how I had hoped. I certainly struggle to be thankful when things don’t work out how I had planned. So why doesn’t God just leave the verse to say, “Give thanks when you feel like it”?

When we understand the Father’s heart, that He is for us and not against us (Romans 8:31), that He created us and knows exactly what we need, then like a loving parent He shares with us clearly that it is His will. Why would a loving father desire for us to give thanks in all circumstances? Is it because:

  • It is what’s best for us?
  • It improves our mental health and wellbeing?
  • “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
  • It improves our relationships with others?
  • It helps set our children up for success in life?
  • It reminds us that our hope is not based on our circumstances, building within us resilience, courage and strength in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? (Hebrews 13:8)

Yes! And so much more. The Father’s will is always what is best for us and those around us.

This week, our Middle School students were asked what they are grateful for about our College. This is one of the many encouraging responses…

“I am most thankful for all my friends and teachers here at Emmaus. I always have someone who will have my back and a person to talk to whenever I feel down. I am extremely thankful for everyone here as they are always there for me when I need it most.” Year 8 student

May we continue to lean into our Heavenly Father’s will by reading his Word, “and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) using the gift of gratitude.