“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7
Thankful people are more than happy people; they are changed people.
In the Colossians passage above, Paul makes a connection between being strengthened in the faith and overflowing with thankfulness. The more you learn to live your life in Jesus, the more you will learn to see the world the way he did. As you become rooted and built up in him, it will be harder for situations and circumstances to control you.
As I learn to trust more in Jesus, I am inclined to be more thankful. The reason is simple: his way is the best way. It’s when I go my own way that I get in trouble! As my confidence in God’s provision increases, so does my thankfulness.
But the connection between faith and thankfulness also goes the other direction. When I choose to be thankful, I am choosing to place my focus and attention on God — even when the circumstances are hard or challenging or disappointing. Choosing to focus only on my problems signals my lack of faith in God’s power to overcome.
Here’s the key: we have a responsibility to do the things that strengthen our faith AND we have the ability to choose our attitude. When those two areas of life are working together, we are changed.