Thankful- to be pleased, relieved, expressing gratitude. Grateful – feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness
A few months ago, being thankful kept coming into my thought process. And as I purposed to be thankful more often, it turned to being thankful daily and it has honestly changed my life. By making the choice, daily, to be thankful, my entire life has changed – and it all boils down to a choice.
Proverbs 23:7 says – as we think in our hearts, so are we. This is so true! I have learned a few things in purposing to be thankful and I must say, it has made me even more thankful for my life! It has changed my thinking! It has given me a new outlook! I am amazed at what being thankful daily has done for me. Here are a few things I have learned:
You can’t be thankful and angry at the same time. It will not work. So, what if anger comes? It’s a choice you have to make. You have to stop, reset your thought process and focus on what you are thankful for. The Bible says 2 Corinthians 10:5TV (VOICE) 5 We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.
It’s amazing what happens when we actually do what the Bible says! What if the next time anger came, we took it captive? I will challenge you with something that works for me – say out loud – “Anger – I am marching you to the cross of Christ right now and I give you no place. I release this situation to YOU Father and I choose instead to be thankful for_______ (this way of escape, thankful for anything actually! ) Confess being thankful and watch the anger dissipate then and there! James says to submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee – submit to God and resist anger and it will flee as well!
Being thankful has given my faith a new freedom! I read recently that one of the hindrances to our faith is when we are facing an impossible situation and we go over in our minds how we think the Lord might work it out. Doing this just rehearses all that we CANNOT do. And, because it is an impossible situation to us, it only serves to remind us of how helpless we really are. By keeping our focus on all of this it weakens our faith and causes doubt to creep in or even fear. I am guilty! So, what I have started to do when I am reminded of all that is wrong in my life – all that I need answers for and do not have? I have started saying – out loud so the enemy and my own heart can hear – “Father – I don’t know how You are going to work this out, but I know You are. Thank You for doing it! In the meantime, I am going to be thankful for all that You have already done for me!” And then I begin to name things out loud. When you begin rehearsing the blessings of the Lord out loud, it will change your atmosphere! Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The word thanksgiving, in the Greek means – actively grateful – language as an act of worship to God!” When anxiety comes- actively thank the Lord as an act of worship! It will bring peace!
Being thankful has made me happier and changed my outlook! I used to worry about things all the time – although I didn’t call it that, to me, I was just trying to figure out solutions to problems. And, there is nothing wrong with trying to find a solution – we should do that. However, when trying to find the solution becomes your overwhelming thoughts it is WORRY! Now, I simply give these problems to the Lord. I still look for solutions, but when they don’t come, I release these problems to my Father – with thanksgiving, knowing He cares for me and that He will work them out…some way, somehow. There is no sense in ruining my day fretting over that which I can’t do anything about! Colossians 3:15-17 TV- “Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed’s peace (the peace you were called to as one body), and be thankful.16 Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness. 17 Surely, no matter what you are doing (speaking, writing, or working), do it all in the name of Jesus our Master, sending thanks through Him to God our Father.” When you allow His peace to come and are thankful, when you let the Word of God inhabit your life, when you encourage each other with songs and sing to the Lord from your heart with thankfulness – I promise you it will change your horizon! We always have something to be thankful for. If you woke up this morning you can be thankful!
Being thankful keeps my heart light and my thinking clear! Romans 1:21 says “For although they knew God, they did not honor (praise) him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Futile means incapable of producing any useful result; pointless. This scripture is talking about believers! Although they KNEW God they did not honor him as God OR GIVE THANKS TO HIM they became futile in their thinking – incapable of producing any useful result, pointless! And their foolish hearts were darkened….. darkened there means to be deprived of light – in your mind – deprived of understanding. Have you ever been in a situation and said “I just can’t understand??????” Have you ever been incapable of producing any useful result? Hit the reset button and begin to honor and praise God and give Him thanks! If not honoring, praising and thanking Him causes us to be futile in our thinking then honoring, praising and thanking Him will produce the opposite effect! WOW!
Being thankful gives me hope! One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:8 (TV) “Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” Folks, when you meditate on the goodness of God, when you think on lovely things, you can’t help but be hopeful for the future! Joshua 1:8 TV “Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success.” I have found since I have made an effort to be more thankful daily, that my hope and outlook has improved greatly!
I know these things sound too easy to be true…. I mean, could it be as easy as saying thank you? Could it be as easy as changing our thoughts to meditate on His goodness? On the gloomiest of days, I try to find even the smallest things to be thankful for. A good parking spot, a hot cup of tea, a smile from a stranger, sunshine…… I remind myself to be thankful for things that become easy to take for granted…. My job, my health, my home, my car, a warm bed at night, an awesome Bible believing, God fearing church, my health, friends, family, etc. Once I get started, it is amazing just how much I find that I have to be thankful for!
I am dumbfounded at the change in my atmosphere and daily life that being thankful has had on me. However, the Bible says in Isaiah 55 that our ways are not His ways and our thoughts His thoughts – that His thoughts are higher. Sometimes I think we make things too hard. Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden was light. (Mark 11:28-30) Jesus took the chastisement of our peace so we could have peace. He did it all for us on the cross. All we have to do is accept Him, His ways and plans. His word tells us how.
So, I challenge you to purpose to live a more thankful life. Get your Bible and look up the word thankful and just meditate on His goodness. It really is as easy as making a choice. Once you get past the fact that it is really up to you, and it is truly a CHOICE – the rest will fall into line. I wish I could have gotten this principle years ago. I would have been much happier a lot sooner!
Psalm 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”