In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are reminded: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The challenge to live gratefully is for all of us. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can always find a reason to say, “Thank you” to the One who gives us every breath.
It’s important to remember that we aren’t being asked to give thanks for all circumstances – but to find ways to be grateful in the midst of them. When the car won’t start (Thank you, Lord, for the neighbor who helped me!) or the house is a wreck (Praise you, Lord, that we have a roof over our heads.) When our plans are interrupted, our job is stressful, our vacation is disappointing, our kids are whining:
There is joy to be found, not only in the good times, but in the challenges too.…
What if this year, we kept the gratitude going all season long?
Here are a few ways to help make that possible in our day-to-day lives:
Begin to pay more attention to the words you speak. Do complaints come out easily? Do you hear yourself lamenting about what “woulda, coulda, shoulda” happened? Challenge yourself to turn that grumbling into gratitude. Not only will it help you lighten up, but those around you will be inspired to do the same.
Start your own list of everyday blessings. You may discover that in giving thanks for the life you already have, you’ll begin to live the life you’ve always wanted.
When our days are filled with grateful moments, our lives will shine with joy. Little by little, as we let go of negative thoughts and words and begin to focus on all the good God has placed in our lives right here, right now, the people around us will encounter the presence of Christ within us in beautiful, new ways.
In the end, that’s what living gratefully is all about. The joy we seek, the peace we hope for, the difference we want to make in this world – it all falls into place when our focus changes from our circumstances to our Creator, from what we wish we had to what we’ve already been given. That’s when “thanksgiving” becomes much more than a season; it becomes a vibrant way of life.
(selections by Paige at DaySpring)
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