Thankfulness. Seems like a pretty easy attribute to attain, right? When it’s a beautiful sunset, a great accomplishment, or simply my youngest remembering to brush his teeth without asking...hallelujah! I can hear the chorus.
But if we are honest....those thoughts come pretty naturally. What are your words or thoughts towards your child when they repeatedly won’t listen, your spouse who isn’t filling your love tank, or a friend who has hurt you and caused confusion?
Thankfulness in all situations.
Or how about the situation you are in, the home you live in, the community that surrounds you, your health or lack of it.
These all matter. To you and to God.
He gives us a response to everyone of these scenarios and any others you have in your life.
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18
Don’t miss the last part. This is God’s will for us. I don’t want to miss that, do you?
It’s not a Pollyanna kind of thankfulness that skips through life after you crash and burn pretending like it doesn’t affect you. No, thankfulness acknowledges the pain and heartache, the frustration and the confusion.
...but it doesn’t stop there.
“From where does my help come from, my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”. After we acknowledge our problem.... We lift our eyes above it!
Our focus now turns to the only one who can move us towards life and healing. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10.
Thankfulness flows from time in God's presence.
Have you spent time in God’s presence? No...really. Not a quick prayer, or a checklist of reading through the Bible that day...But His presence!
You will find yourself speaking praises and thanking him continuously. Your focus will begin to shift and the atmosphere changes. You won’t be looking at your problem the same anymore.
I have an amazing husband, but I noticed my thoughts toward him were continuously complaining in my head several months ago. It was subtle, so I didn’t notice at first. But my attitude toward him started to reveal my heart. I was challenged for 30 days not to think one negative thought, but instead to thank God for my husband’s admirable qualities. By day three I was undone! I was so convicted I had let my thoughts unravel. I quickly added thankfulness into my daily routine and saw immediate results in our relationship!!
Thankfulness when the struggle is real.
Do you and your husband struggle in this? Do you struggle speaking negatively about a child? A situation you are in? Start thanking God for what He will do in it and speak life in His word. Declare how He will sustain you and see you through.
The struggle is real. Right now as I write this, I’m thinking of the dishes someone “forgot” to do again in the sink from last night. I acknowledge more training needs to be done, or privilege taken away. But I thank God that He gives me “everything I need pertaining to godliness and training”. I will focus on training and not ungrateful murmurings under my breath!
Lastly, It should be an overflow as you practice thankfulness. Feeling gratitude but not expressing it is like wrapping up a gift and not giving it away. Once you start to practice thankfulness, it should overflow onto others around you. As believers, there is no lack, but abundance. Those around us desperately need to receive that overflow. What are you thankful for today?