If you look closely at today’s verse, you notice three admonitions. First, we are to “give thanks.” Second we see that we are to give thanks “in everything.” The last part of the verse reminds us that to give thanks “is the will of God.” So following that format, let’s dig in and see what it means to be a person of continual gratitude.
The Greek word for “give thanks” is eucharisteo. If you have a Catholic, Episcopalian or Lutheran background, this might remind you of “eucharist” or communion.
At the center of this Greek word is charis which means “grace.” So quite literally, this word means “to give grace.” Thinking of giving thanks and communion or the Lord’s Supper together is quite good. Communion is the act of partaking of the bread and the cup in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice and thanking Him for it.
Eucharisteo is used many times in the New Testament. For example, when Jesus fed the multitude, Matthew 15:36 says, “And He took the seven loaves and the fishes and gave thanks, …” At the Last Supper or the First Communion, Mark 14:23 records, “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.”
In the midst of a storm at sea we read of Paul in Acts 27:35, “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.”
In each case, God’s provision was recognized and gratitude was expressed through prayer. That’s the basis of thanksgiving, we recognize our Sovereign God as the giver of all good things and we humbly thank Him for His blessings.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18