As we move into November, it bring us to a season of giving thanks and appreciating how God continues to bless us in so many ways. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,”Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Gratitude is a loving and thankful response toward God for his presence with us and within the world. Though “blessings” can move us into gratitude, is it not at the root of a thankful heart. Delight in God and his good will in this heartbeat of thankfulness. A grateful desire becomes sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to live with a grateful heart, cognizant of God’s work in my life, in my church and my abundant resources.
I would encourage you to practice gratitude in the following ways:
- prayers and songs that focus on God’s generosity
- gratefully giving and sharing all that you are and have as a sign of your thankfulness to God
- expressing gratitude to others; the habit of saying “thank you,” “I am so grateful,” “you are so kind and thoughtful,” etc.
- gratefully noticing God’s presence and gifts through the day
- practicing an abundance mentality; counting the numerous blessings of life
- keeping a gratitude journal of the myriad of gifts God has brought.
What will this produce in us? It will curb our critical tendencies by upstaging them with thanksgiving; treasuring and valuing your family, your church’s family, your neighbors, etc. by thanking them often; learning to receive everything you have as a gift rather than as an entitlement.
What if you, your families and our church all found ways to practice being grateful for the whole month? I believe it would have a transforming effect on all of us!
Blessings with a grateful heart,