And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17 ESV)
It would be difficult not to spot the command to be thankful in these verses:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
There is a very close association in Colossians between being strong in Christ and giving thanks (Colossians 1:11–12, Colossians 2:6–7, Colossians 4:2). It seems that Paul is assuming that giving thanks is verification of God’s working in a person. Certainly he is expecting these Christians to be giving thanks for their sharing in the kingdom of Christ, being established in faith in Christ, the peace of Christ, the word of Christ and everything they say, do and pray.
If you think about it, this is to be expected due to the nature of our salvation. We are saved by faith in Christ — He did everything, all we do is receive, thankfully. It has to be receiving with thanks because to understand what it is we are being given is to be thankful. The soul who considers their own salvation and has a cold heart devoid of thankfulness to God should be gravely concerned.
As I write down the gifts God is giving me, my first thought is often the inexpressible gift of salvation. I don’t write this on my list every day, but it really does belong there because His mercies truly are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22–23).
A glorious calm spring morning.
Children giggling in their Mum’s bed.
Grace keeping me from getting angry about being caught in a downpour.
Lying on my back watching clouds.
22-month-old dancing to Slice of Heaven by Dave Dobbyn and Herbs.
2 hours of fun from a cardboard box.
An evening walk.
That in Christ greatness is attainable by all (Matthew 23:11–12).
Little trees growing on a burnt-over, windswept hill.
Free pine cones.