My last blog post asked “Who are you thankful for”?, and challenged you to take a few minutes to intentionally express your heartfelt gratitude.
In this post I want to ask you a similar question; What are you thankful for this year? Scripture says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). There is a difference in saying “Thank you” and truly being thankful. Heartfelt thanksgiving should flow from a general heart of gratitude. Anyone can focus on the frustrations of life, but gratitude is a choice. People who really understand the heart of God realize we have so much to be grateful.
Some people seem to look for reason to complain. Maybe we should spend more time being grateful than complaining. Maybe we should spend more time presenting our requests to God immersed in a thankful heart instead of being anxious and stressed out. If we all focused on all the reasons, we have to be grateful and allow a thankful heart to dominate our thinking, our lives would have much less stress and anxiety. We should be consciously aware of how blessed we truly are; being grateful affects our entire outlook on life.
Being grateful refocuses your minds and hearts on God’s faithfulness and blessings. It stabilizes our thoughts and emotions in a positive place instead of the slippery slope of negativity. Being consciously aware of all we have to be grateful for makes us more understanding, sensitive, kind, and patient. It also has an on-going deepening effect on our personal relationship with Christ and our spiritual development journey.
Sometimes we say to ourselves, “I’d be more thankful if…” Have you ever had that kind of thought float through your mind? It would be so much easier to be grateful if my circumstances were better or if my health was better, or if finances were better, or of my relationships were better.
It is so easy to allow our gratitude to be governed by our circumstances and emotions or by what we are unhappy with rather than by all of our blessings. Pick the topic; health, relationships, business, finances, etc. No matter how tough it is for you, there are others enduring far more over-whelming circumstances.
So, let me ask you that question again. What are you thankful for this year? Maybe you should take a few moments to get your head and heart right in the area of gratitude by focusing on all you have rather than on all that frustrates you. Being grateful, choosing to walk through life with a grateful heart and mindset really will change your entire outlook on life.