Have you ever been in a season where all you saw around you is lack? You wished you were further along in your journey, you wished you had more money in the bank, you wished you had a better job. You simply wished SOMETHING was different because you were not satisfied with the circumstances you were in? This thought is too common for us believers, and I believe God is inviting us to put on new eyes to see what truly is around us and the reality that joy and contentment is available to us right where we are at through Christ!
Let’s take a look at what the Word says about gratitude and thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Gratitude isn’t just a nice idea we try to do better at during the thanksgiving holiday, it’s actually God’s will for our lives. He sees it as an absolute essential for us! Gratitude isn’t a suggestion, it’s His desire and His will for us because of the fruit it will bear in our lives!
I wonder what would have happened if the Israelites chose to be grateful in the wilderness rather than be full of complaints. They were so stuck in their lack that they forgot that the same God who delivered them from Egypt was STILL with them. They forgot to be thankful! They chose to focus on what they didn’t have, rather than focus and remember what God did for them.
As we know, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. What should have been a 2 week or less journey on foot turned into a prolonged journey of wandering fueled by unhealthy cycles of complaining and defeat. They kept forgetting WHO their God was! They took their eyes off of God and onto the reality around them. They didn’t have the realization that their breakthrough lied in what they were sowing through their words and the thoughts in their heart.
Sis, when you choose gratitude, it turns what is around you into enough. God is inviting you to step INTO gratitude, where it not only becomes a discipline, but it becomes a lifestyle and essentially becomes WHO you are. Despite what feels as not enough around you, I truly believe God wants to show you the everlasting peace and joy you can find in Him, because Jesus is enough!
I want to remind you that God’s goodness is in fact around all you. Right in this very moment, as you’re reading this, God’s goodness is encompassing you. Ask Him to show you what that is. Maybe it’s packaged in a way that you haven’t recognized yet, but through His grace and kindness, I believe He will show you it!
Here are some practical ways to choose gratitude:
1. At the end of each day, write down three things you are grateful for that day.
By doing this you are retraining your mind and perspective. Sooner or later you’ll start to find those things more naturally! Recording gratitude is much more powerful than you know. 😉
2. Text a friend and tell them how meaningful your friendship is and something you’re grateful for about them. Bringing gratitude into relationships is a MUST. Telling someone you’re grateful for them can do wonders for their spirit (and create deeper connection!) It not only will strengthen your friendship, but it will leave the recipient feeling loved and seen by you and God.
3. Start your prayer time with gratitude for WHO God is!
Psalm 100:4 says “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Thanksgiving is the gateway into His presence. It takes us into a new reality! It shifts our focus back onto our amazing God and off of anything that may try and discourage us.
4. Take a trip down memory lane and dwell on all the beautiful things God has already done for you. Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” When we remember the goodness of God, it strengthens our spirit. It reminds us that if God did it then, how much more can we do it now? He is the same God yesterday, today and forever!
I hope these words today could ignite a desire to cultivate gratitude in your life a little more. Friend, I promise you that on the other side of you choosing it, you will experience a perspective shift that will bring peace and joy in your life!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!