“Practicing gratitude is God’s will for our lives.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 22, 2022
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
One of my good friends often sends me podcasts that speak to her. Last week she shared one from Focus on the Family for couples which included healthy habits for a happy marriage.
One of the suggestions was to wake up each morning, look at your mate and say, “Good morning! I love you!” For the last couple of weeks, my husband and I have been putting this little habit into practice and it’s brought such joy into my heart. It’s an easy-to-do reminder that we are important to one another.
Considering Thanksgiving and the practice of gratitude, I’ve decided to also start the day with a greeting for Jesus by saying, “Good morning, Lord! Thank you for this day and everything in it. I love you!”
Just thinking about being thankful lightens my heart. This isn’t surprising. Philippians 4:6-7 gives a prescription for overcoming anxiety which includes giving thanks to God.
Scripture reveals that gratitude is a choice. And (good news!) once you decide to become more grateful, you’ll start noticing little things that perhaps you hadn’t noticed before: The smell of hot coffee, a stranger’s smile, the beauty of the morning stillness, or the preciousness of a hug.
Practicing gratitude isn’t just a fluffy endeavor. It’s not something to make you feel good about having good thoughts. Instead, Philippians 4:6-7 says that it’s part of what protects our hearts from anxiety. It’s also God’s will for our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says God wants us to “give thanks in everything.” When we choose to be thankful, there is nothing in our lives that is wasted.
Cancer survivor Jenna Holden says, “It’s interesting how a big life challenge can illuminate little things in our lives we are so thankful for [things we] maybe have taken for granted . . . The years of treatment and reoccurrences that followed have shown me how transformational practicing gratitude can be in our day-to-day lives.”
When we practice gratitude, it moves us from feeling like beggars in God’s kingdom to knowing we are beloved children of the King. It causes us to see Him as good and abundant in His blessings for us rather than feel as if we have been cheated or that He is withholding good things from us. And, practicing gratitude and looking for the little things in life makes us like children, curious about what blessing we will receive next.
Are you ready to practice gratitude today? I invite you to start by saying, “Good morning, Lord! Thank you for everything on this day. I love you!”
Then, do a “Gratitude Scavenger Hunt” and make a point to notice the little things today. Every time you notice a blessing, tell the Lord thank you. This will lift your spirit and help banish anxiety and worry.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples” (1 Chronicles 16:8)!
Lord, thank you for everything in my life. Give me eyes to see little blessings and then help me to thank you for your abundance toward me. Amen.
Go on a “Gratitude Scavenger Hunt” today.
Psalm 95:2; Psalm 27:8; Psalm 69:30
Chris Tomlin with Thomas Rhett & Florida Georgia Line: Thank You Lord
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