Its that time of the year when family and friends gather to give thanks. Yet thankfulness and expressions of gratitude should be a part of our lives throughout the year. Despite hardships, there are many things to be thankful for and expressions of praise and thankfulness to God garner His appreciation and blessing.
What have you found are the barriers to your expressing thankfulness? Some things cited often are feeling that our life is not turning out how we wanted it to, long term pain from childhood circumstances, and unfavorably comparing our life to that of others based on what we see on social media. These barriers can prevent us from seeing the possibility that awaits us and our inner potential to improve our life condition.
There are ways to begin to practice gratitude and expressing thankfulness in our daily lives. One of the best ways is making our minds over by meditating on God’s word and taking inventory of all that we can begin to thank Him for. We can express our thankfulness through our prayers of praise. Learning to speak differently about our circumstances also trains us to look for the positive rather than what we feel we are lacking. Affirmations, journaling, and meditating regularly on the goodness of God can also help us to realize that for even the constants like sunrises and sunsets, we can give thanks.
God’s word says that we should give thanks in all situations. We thank God for the ability and strength to meet both the good and bad, and thank Him for the fact that we have the ability to overcome challenges. Aligning ourselves with God’s will to have a thankful attitude in all circumstances opens up the way to finding solutions and keeps us from being weighed down with worry.
Christians are thankful for the gift of salvation. It is a promise that is sure to be fulfilled. Thinking of the benefits that we will experience in God’s Kingdom – eternal health, lasting joy, essential provisions – helps us to endure temporary challenges now. We experience the peace of not worrying about mistakes of the past and are grateful for the willing help that God is able to provide.
Regularly recalling to mind the challenges God has helped us to overcome is something God commanded the Israelites to do, and is a good practice for present day Christians. It strengthens our reliance and faith in God and His ability to do what to others may seem impossible.
Benefits of A Thankful Heart
Whether its readily apparent or not, we each have a lot to be thankful for. Each day, we are given a new opportunity to live, achieve our dreams, and try to improve where we need improvement. Most of us have our basic needs and full use of our mind and body. We can also be thankful for those loved ones who have proven they can be relied on whether they are related to us or not.
There may always be things that we feel are missing from our lives. Material success does not change that. However, a thankful heart is like medicine for the soul and allows us to see life from a perspective of potential rather than loss. Our thankful attitude is also a pleasure to God and motivates Him to continue to increase our blessings.
Tips to Increase Thankfulness
Our prayers should express thankfulness in line with Jesus’ model prayer. Aside from our prayers, we can meditate regularly on ways that God has been good to us and on the blessings we have. We should also not fail to have a thankful attitude towards others. Courteous customer service, a friend that checks in, and the love of our family should all be met with gratitude and a kind word expressing our appreciation.
A gratitude journal can be started and regularly maintained that contains answered prayers, a record of solved problems, and blessings. Finally, we can begin to notice how God has cared for the world around us. He makes the sun shine on all humans regardless of their standing with him.
Maintaining an attitude of thankfulness throughout the year is a praise to God and medicine to our inner soul. As we express thankfulness towards others, we can expect that more good will come to us. Our kind words and deeds towards others in expression of our thankfulness can help to create a life and atmosphere filled with peace and joy.