1 Thes. 5:16-18- “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in everything for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a much needed reminder to reflect on the countless blessings God has poured out on me. Life is busy. I can easily fall into the trap of complaining about my never-ending to-do list or my sniffly nose or the child who knows just how to push my buttons. Our human nature is wired to see our lack instead of our abundance, the half-empty glass, the unmet expectations.
But gratitude takes our eyes off of ourselves and focuses them on the Giver of all good things (James 1:17). Being intentionally grateful is like a muscle that’s strengthened each time we use it. Suddenly instead of crying over spilled milk, we’re grateful we have milk. Instead of lamenting our increasing expenses, we see an opportunity to trust God with our finances. We exchange our annoyance with someone’s hurtful comment with extending God’s grace to a fellow sinner (because there’s no doubt our comments have hurt others as well).
1 Thes. 5:18 reminds us that we’re to give thanks in both the hills and valleys of life. Gratitude changes the lens with which we view life. And our joy is made full in trusting that every detail of our lives has been filtered through God’s loving hand.
Whenever I find myself sliding down the slippery slope of self-pity, I take a few minutes to jot down 5 things I’m thankful for. Gratitude is one of the best weapons in my fight for joy. So today I’m thankful for…
1. 7 hours to sit in the car and talk with my husband (semi-uninterrupted)
2. Kids who love to listen to audio CDs together
3. Being able to see my parents AND enjoy my mom’s cooking!
5. Knowing that my salvation is secure in Jesus, free of expectations of performance or merit.
What are you thankful for today?