“God asks us to give thanks in everything--- because this is the way you live through anything.” -Ann Voskamp
When life feels overwhelming or we have a tough day, it is so easy to focus solely on what is going badly for us and in the world around us. We tend to focus on the negative and to “give complaints in all circumstances” rather than giving thanks. This steals our joy and causes us to lose sight of the many blessings in our lives. Practicing gratitude requires us to move past our circumstances and to fully embrace and trust in God’s unfailing love for us. Gratitude can literally transform us if we make it a way of life. It can be difficult in times like this, times of uncertainty and great anxiety to choose gratitude. The word “gratitude” comes from the Latin word gratitudinem, which means “thankfulness.” As we approach Thanksgiving, it seems like the perfect time to brush up on our gratitude skills.
So, what does God’s Word say about gratitude?
“Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1-3
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
How do you practice gratitude? Here are some ways I have been practicing lately:
- Praying God’s Word- specifically focusing on Psalms
- Making an extra effort to verbally express gratitude to my close friends and family
- Writing down a list of at least 5 things I am grateful for on a daily basis
- Playing worship music as I go about my daily chores
- Gratitude meditation