June 26, 2017

Weekly Focus on Gratitude

I chose the word gratitude as a major focus for this year. And I’d like to emphasize it not just in my personal life, but also here on the blog. So instead of just listing a handful of things I’m thankful for at the end of another post, I want to make a weekly endeavor to focus specifically and purposefully on the concept of gratitude.

I plan to share things I’m thankful for, as well as verses or meditations about cultivating a grateful heart. I want this not only to help me personally, but also to minister to each of you, and encourage you to a more purposeful life of gratitude.

I also invite you to share what you’re thankful for — or how God is teaching you to be more grateful.

 

Gratitude

 

Paul’s epistles are rich with reminders to rejoice evermore and to give thanks in every circumstance. That sort of joyful, thankful spirit is crucial to the Christian life.

It is a part of the abundant joy we are to have in Jesus Christ. It is a part of being content with whatever we have. And it is an essential to experiencing God’s perfect peace that surpasses all understanding.

Why? Because…

  • you cannot have peace if your spirit is troubled about what you don’t have.
  • you cannot know true joy if you fail to see the blessings you do have.
  • you cannot be content without being satisfied with whatever God has given you.

Your fellowship with God will grow richer and sweeter, when you start to see the blessings God has bestowed upon you. Your prayer life will be strengthened, as you learn to praise Him for both little and big things. Your love for Him, and even your love for others, will blossom as you put off a spirit of complaining and put on the spirit of gratitude.

Your heart will explode with gratitude as you recognize all the good things He has given you! It will swell with praise to God as you remember all His benefits!

 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits!”
Psalm 103:1-2

 

Too often we plead with God to send more blessings, when instead we should be pleading for our eyes to opened to the blessings we already have.

We have so much — we are so rich in spiritual and physical blessings. Even those who live in the poorest countries of the world can find reasons to be thankful — and how much more do we enjoy of comfort and convenience? How much freedom do we have to worship and fellowship and live as we feel called, that millions of people may never know or experience?

How much do we overlook as “nothing special”?

And yet, we are to give thanks in everything. Not just in the wonderful, or the difficult, but also in the normal and the mundane. We are to give thanks in the ordinary.

Give thanks for the sunrise — and for grey cloudy days. Give thanks for sleep and for sleepless nights, and for the ability to feel tired. Give thanks for pain-free days. Give thanks for close friends, and not-so-close acquaintances. Give thanks for the happy, the sad, and the mediocre.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for your life. {<–tweet that!}

So would you count your blessings along with me? This week I’m giving thanks for…

    • a thriving relationship with my husband
    • provision for another semester of classes
    • unlimited text messaging
    • shredded cheddar cheese
    • ginger peppermint tea
    • the power of intercession
    • learning about the publication process — firsthand!
    • memorizing Scripture with friends
    • friends who teach {or write} sound doctrine
    • opportunities to grow in the knowledge of God!

 

What are YOU thankful for today?
  How are you cultivating gratitude in your life? Share in the comments!


Comments

  1. “Too often we plead with God to send more blessings, when instead we should be pleading for our eyes to opened to the blessings we already have.”–this is exactly what we do. Great encouragement, E.

  2. I am thankful for YOU!

  3. Hi Elizabeth
    I linked-up after you at WIP Wednesday. I like your swift of focus from just naming blessings to cultivating a grateful heart. In my own life, though, I ave found that I am unable to do that. I need to live deep in the life of our Lord to experience His life of gratitude!
    Much love to you
    Mia

  4. This is something that I am working on a lot lately. Especially in regards to thanking Him for what is yet to come… the areas that I know He will be faithful in, even when it is hard for me to imagine right now. Giving thanks is EVERYTHING and you’re right it really helps bring a new peace and understanding!

  5. Hello there, stopping by from the fontenot four link up. Wonderful encouragement. Have a blessed day. Tara (The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary)

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