joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14)

Paul concludes this train of thought about walking in a manner worthy of the Lord by praying that the Colossians would joyously give thanks to him. Thanksgiving is a key part of “bearing fruit in every good work” (Col. 1:10), and we give thanks because of the very thing Paul has been praying the Colossian church would fully understand and live out: the gospel. We give thanks primarily because Jesus Christ has led us in a new Exodus, freeing us from slavery to sin and bringing us into the land of his blessing. Giving thanks, therefore,

signals the reality of [our] spiritual experience in Christ. For the giving of thanks implies that what has been received has not been earned but is a gift. Thanksgiving is therefore the flip side of a key Pauline theological claim: that Christians are saved by and live in grace. (Douglas J. Moo)

Pray that we would be people and a church that gives thanks, and that our thanksgiving would flow out of the knowledge that we have been saved by and live in grace.

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5:18)