Practice of Being Thankful

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”   1 Thessalonians 5:18

You walk into a forest on a fine November afternoon and see both a bee and a vulture. Both in the same forest, under the same circumstances. But what do they find? The bee will find flowers and the vultures will find rotten carcasses. The bee will take the nectar from the flower and make honey. The vulture will take the dead meat from the animal and devour its rotten flesh. 

We will all find different things according to what we are looking for and what we seem to appreciate, even if we are under the same circumstances. It is not about carrying a toxic positivity in life that will make you grateful. It’s about retraining the eyes to find what is good and what you owe to the Lord. Same holds true for other qualities. Take a person who thinks of money all day and what will you find? Greed. Food all day? Gluttony. We should strive to have eyes that find God in all things. Seeing His goodness, His sovereignty and His love in all things will naturally bring about a spirit of praise and thankfulness.

We see this clearly in the story of the ten lepers cleansed by Jesus: All ten men called Jesus “Master” and received healing, and were cleansed. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” The ten lepers all called him Master, all asked for mercy, and probably all felt grateful towards Jesus. But this story in the Bible makes it clear that thanksgiving has to be both a mindset and an action.

Author and expert, Dr. Brené Brown studied vulnerability and gratitude for over 12 years, then she came to a mighty discovery. Out of thousands of joyfully described people, she did not interview a single person who did not actively practice gratitude. It’s not that if you are joyful, you will be grateful. Or that some people are just born thankful or have great circumstances in their lives. It’s really all just a practice of gratitude. It should be tangible- a journal, a letter, a prayer of thankfulness and praise to God.

It is important that we practice this lifestyle daily and with it, we will find so much added unto us- almsgiving, joy, contentment, unity with our brother and sisters, and unity with Christ. We will also find a reliance on God, remembering all that He has done for us and all that He continues to do. This will transform your relationship with God.

Many times we wonder what the will of God is in our lives. Very few would think that it is to give thanks. Many times we are caught up thinking about the what. But maybe we need to start thinking more about the how and launch into the depth of joy that comes from containing a spirit of thankfulness. 

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