Most of us will enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with our loved ones this week, but as we do, let’s keep in mind that being thankful is something we should not only do in a particular season, but all year long. Thankfulness is a powerful attitude that can bring many positive things into your life. Actually, I believe very few things CAN affect your overall quality of life as powerfully as your attitude, whether good or bad. It affects your career, every relationship you have and, according to statistics can even affect your health.
When we improve our attitude, everything else in our lives seems to improve also. When you feel grateful, it is nearly impossible to feel frustrated, sad, empty, disconnected, or discouraged. Eckhart Tolle said, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Frank A. Clark said, “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” These statements are both powerful and true. We all need to be more thankful for what we have already been blessed with, and expect great things ahead. Somehow, appreciating what we already have opens our eyes to what we can receive in the future.
Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Isn’t it interesting that being thankful has something to do with the peace of God ruling in our hearts? We know the opposite of peace would be worry and fear. So, we could look at it this way, if our hearts are full of thankfulness and peace there will be no room for worry and fear.
Psalm 100:4 tells us to, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” The definition of praise is: “the act of expressing approval of, or admiration for.” This is what we must understand…..no matter what is going on in your life today OR what has happened in your past, God IS worthy of our praise at all times! In Psalm 34:1 the Psalmist David wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Let me tell you that everything in David’s life was not ALWAYS peaches and cream! He had his share of enemies and his share of troubles, yet he knew that praising God was a powerful weapon. David made mistakes in his life for sure. He wasn’t perfect, yet the scripture says He was a man after God’s own heart because he was an unashamed praiser!
Of course, just like David, everything in our life is not perfect either. Therefore, we need to also “bless the Lord at all times.” Even when things seem to be coming against us from every angle, we must remember GOD is still the same! He doesn’t change even when everything else does. Most people think they will praise God when they see everything “looking up.” No! According to the scriptures, we are to praise Him and give Him thanks for what we don’t yet see, but are believing to come to fruition in our lives. You may be thinking that you don’t have anything to be thankful or praise God for. I beg to differ! Are you still breathing? Do you have a place to lay your head? Are you able to keep warm at night? Do you have at least one person who loves and cares for you? If you have any of those things, you have something to be thankful for! I often think of the old song, “Count your many blessings name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done!” I am sure we would all benefit from counting our blessings.
There was a very special elderly Christian lady in my life who has gone on to be with Jesus. She loved God dearly. The thing that blessed me so much about her was that even though she had some difficult situations in her life, every time I talked to her and asked how she was doing, she would reply, “Honey I am just so thankful! God is so good!” She impacted my life with that attitude! I knew her problems as well as she did. She wasn’t ignoring the problems, she just made a choice to BE THANKFUL and praise God in spite of them!
Thankfulness and praise is a powerful weapon! Let me encourage you today to have an attitude of gratitude. Choose to be thankful for all you DO have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Determine right now that you are going to change your life by simply “being thankful” all year long! Remember He is still God whether in good times or bad. Psalm 50:23 says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” Let’s be thankful and praise Him through the problems and allow Him to show us His salvation!
By Cheryl Lane