June 26, 2017

Still Giving Thanks?

Thanksgiving’s over. But are you still giving thanks?

You’re probably mired in Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, and who-knows-how-many-other activities. Your kids are clamoring for toys. Your friends are pleading for your time. Your family wants more of you, more of stuff, and just more in general.

And it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the rush of the holiday season. It’s easy to start grumbling at your never-ending lists and never-full-enough bank account. It’s easy to get discouraged and unhappy with what you have — or perhaps with what you don’t have. To feel like there’s “never enough” time or resources. To feel like “everything goes wrong” when you most need it to go right.

It’s so easy to become utterly overwhelmed and dissatisfied — and so soon after celebrating a day of thankfulness.

So, you want the answer for that dissatisfaction? The solution for “everything going wrong” all the time? The remedy for an unhappy, discontented spirit?

Give thanks.

And not just a simple “thanks for today” or a wishy-washy “yeah, I guess I’m thankful in these circumstances.” No! Give deep down, soul-filling thanks. Thanks that throws you prostrate before God. Thanks that wells up in your very heart, and spills over into your words and actions.

True thankfulness is more than just words. We all know that, right?

But do we practice it?

When was the last time you breathed a prayer of thanks to God, just between you and Him? When was the last time you sat and soaked in His presence, letting it fill and over-fill you, humbling you and making you cry out in gratitude for the gift of knowing Him?

And it shouldn’t be a rare thing, either. How often do you incorporate thanks-giving into your personal worship time? How frequently do your prayers include thankfulness, as well as supplication and intercession?

Psalm 145 contains a joyous song of praise to God. I’d encourage you to read through it, if your heart is feeling discouraged or disgruntled. Verse 2, especially, offers a great reminder for those times:

 

Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.

 

It’s kind of hard to bless God’s name, when you’re fostering a complaining spirit. It’s hard to praise Him, when you’re annoyed or frustrated at something (or someone). But you know what?

Praising God is exactly what you need to do!

Because at the heart of those problems is discontent and ingratitude — but at the heart of praise and blessing is true thankfulness.

True thankfulness has a way of changing you from the inside out. {<–tweet this!} It makes it easier to be joyful, to be at peace. Gratitude towards God — for all that He is, and all that He has done — chases away the blues, fights off dissatisfaction, and triumphs over discontentment.

Because it’s pretty hard to complain when your heart is full of gratitude. It’s pretty difficult to blame anyone for “things gone wrong” when your soul is utterly overwhelmed with thankfulness for how God guides and directs.

So if you find yourself grumbling about things, disgruntled at interruptions or inconveniences — give thanks.

If you’re becoming irritable and testy with your family, crabby or cranky in your spirit — give thanks.

If you find yourself being critical of others, or how things are done — give thanks.

 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5

 

QUESTIONS for YOU: Do you offer thanksgiving with your heart, or just your words? Do you praise God daily for Who He is? How could being thankful change your attitude of discouragement or discontentment?

 

If you need more reasons to be thankful, spend more time in God’s Word.
Here’s what I’m reading this week — why not read along with me?
Monday: 2 Chronicles 17-18
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 19-20, Luke 8
Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 21-22, Luke 9
Thursday: 2 Chronicles 23-24
Friday: 2 Chronicles 25-27
Saturday: 2 Chronicles 28-29
Sunday: 2 Chronicles 30-31, Luke 10