What if Thanksgiving became thanks-living, and we lived gratefully everyday? How would our perspective on life change? I am unsure if better things happen to those who are thankful, or if grateful people just tend to notice all of the blessings that are poured out upon them. Regardless of which is true, the following facts are true about gratitude according to scripture.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving…” When God is present, fear, doubt and negativity cannot be present. If you are overwhelmed in a situation, shut the door, close your eyes and thank God out loud for some specific things. The atmosphere around you will change. Hope will begin to arise.
Once you’ve made a habit of giving thanks it becomes an obsession. You can’t help but notice things everywhere for which to be grateful.
It’s hard to be depressed when you are constantly in a state of thanksgiving! After all, gratitude ushers in God’s presence and joy is found in His presence. (See Psalm 16:11.)
Is there someone you are having difficulty forgiving? Give a gift of gratitude. Give something that you have given serious thought over. It is difficult to remain angry at someone who you are grateful for.
Are you experiencing a storm? Does it seem like everything is chaos around you? Be grateful. Right there in the midst of your storm.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
We are instructed to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus”(I Thessalonians 5:18). There is great significance in a conjunction in this verse. It doesn’t command us to give thanks for all circumstances, but in all circumstances. We are not promised a bed of roses everyday. We will have trials and tribulations. However, it is even then that God asks us to give thanks. Why? Because it changes the atmosphere and our hearts!
Are you facing a mountain? Thank God! As you do, you are maximizing the power of God in your life while diminishing the power that the mountain has over you. "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving" (Psalm 69:30).
Best-selling author Ann Voskamp writes that, “thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.” What if God is just waiting to do something in your life? What if He’s just waiting for your gratitude to reach Him as a sweet smelling sacrifice? As a parent we know how much of a joy it is to bless a child who is grateful. There is nothing you won’t try to do for that kid! It is the same with us. It blesses God when we are grateful for His goodness to us. That’s the best reason of all to be grateful.
Rev. Deb Koster
Rev. Dr. Steven Koster