Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
So now that we are past the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I have really had a stirring to share about gratitude. Many of us find it easier during the holiday season, particularly the Thanksgiving season to find reasons to be grateful, however, truth be told, thanksgiving should be a daily lifestyle. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of gratitude is: a feeling of appreciation or thanks; state of being grateful; thankfulness. Now, our definition on the other hand, probably goes a little something like this…” when I am having a good day and things are going my way, I am grateful.” I definitely don’t think this definition is in the Bible though lol.
Our thankfulness should not be determined by the kind of day we are having or what our current circumstances are because in all honesty, if we are breathing, we have so much to be thankful for. My mom used this quote on us a lot as kids when we complained about not having something we wanted…” I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” (Quoted by multiple sources so unsure of true origination). It’s all about perspective, right?
The Bible gives us numerous examples of people who were thankful in the midst of challenging circumstances…David, Job, Paul, and Peter just to name a few. Sometimes, we just need to praise ourselves right on out of the “funk” we are in. All we have to do is follow David’s example. In Psalm 103, David rehearses a whole list of reasons he has to be thankful and guess what?!? That list applies to us too! Here are just a few things from David’s list (Ps 103):
- He forgives all my sins
- He heals all my diseases
- He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies
- He fills my life with good things
- He renews my youth
- He gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly
- He is compassionate and merciful
- He is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love
We should be thankful because God is worthy of that and so much more. And the Bible does actually say that being thankful is the will of God for us, and surely, we want to do His will, right?
Another awesome truth is that if we actually position our hearts toward gratefulness, we tend to find that it moves our focus off of our circumstances and on to God where it should be anyway. And this will surely be one of the best moves we could make to improving our outlook on life. What a way to start off the new year!
Here is a link to the perfect “de-funk” song, “Gratitude”. Enjoy!
I am also including some Scriptures on thankfulness to help get us started.
I will thank the Lord because he is just;
I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
Psalm 7:17 NLT
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
Psalm 34:1 NLT
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4 NLT
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1 NLT
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