1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
"Thank You, Lord, for whoever invented electric blankets." I sigh in pleasure as I slip into the warm bed.
"Thank You, Lord, for whoever invented Excedrin®." It's the perfect pill for a pounding headache.
"Thank You, Lord, for my ancestor, Elias Howe, who invented the lockstitch sewing machine that gives me so much pleasure." He really is in my family tree!
"Thank you, Lord …", but you get the idea. It's important to give thanks — as the saying goes, to have an attitude of gratitude. I'm trying to develop the habit: shooting up a quick prayer of thanks for almost everything. It can be as simple as for a close parking spot on a rainy day, or for a wonderful meal that just hits the spot, or for a more serious answer to prayer like an unexpected healing.
A quick search of Bible software yielded 48 verses that include "give thanks" and 100 verses about being thankful. In addition to clear biblical principles, there is definite research to show that a grateful heart can have positive health and emotional benefits. It's hard to be cranky and depressed when we focus on our blessings!
What can we be thankful for?
- Our salvation and the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our lives. Without this, where would we be?
- Our material blessings. I have a family member going through a tough time financially. But she still has a house, a car to drive, clothes in the closet, and food on the table. It's hard, but she's learning to focus on the blessings.
- Our friends and family. Focus on them and thank God for their good qualities.
- Our world. I live in Arizona, USA, land of beautiful sunsets and endless skies. Each day reminds me of God's glory.
- Our trials. Yes, even those. Divorce and death of family members helped me to become a stronger person, even though at the time, I was hurting.
Thanksgiving is not just a once-a-year experience! Let's think about the blessings in our lives, perhaps even create a list, then add to that list daily and make a deliberate choice to focus on those blessings.
Prayer: Father, help us to develop thankful hearts, to give You glory for all that You've done for us and for all the blessings that You provide day-by-day, even minute-by-minute. Give us the strength and insight to look at the world through Your eyes. Amen.