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Developing a Spirit of Thankfulness 1: Introduction

Developing a Spirit of Thankfulness Day 1 – Introduction

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7, ESV) 

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29, ESV)

Have you ever met someone who just complains all the time? It seems like every time you are with them they find something to complain about. It could be the weather, the food they ordered at a restaurant, what others are doing around them, and the list goes on. It can be exhausting being around people like this; you feel like you must let them make all the plans in case they complain about something you choose. 

If we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all had days (or maybe even seasons) when we complain about pretty much anything. I can think of a recent morning when I woke up late, spilled coffee on my outfit, didn’t have extra clean pants so I had to completely change my outfit, and then, of course, when I pulled out, I realized I had no gas either. I was fuming on the way to work because of a situation that I caused (but if you would’ve told me that in the moment I wouldn’t have reacted well). 

In those moments, it’s hard to have a heart of thankfulness. It’s much easier to criticize other drivers on the road and be in a grumpy mood the rest of the day, blaming it all on how your day started. I challenge you in moments like these to sit back and think of five things you are thankful for—trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Expressing gratitude should be a regular part of every day, and even in the midst of a bad day, there is always something to be thankful for. When was the last time you took a moment to consider all you have to be grateful for? Feel free to take a moment now to say thank you for the blessings you’re currently enjoying.

I really love this time of year, with all the decorations and traditions. People seem to be more cheerful and kind, and there truly is a warmth that surrounds this season. While it’s good that we are more focused on thankfulness at this time of year, I want to challenge you once again to express it every day of the year. If you start each day with notes of gratitude and take time to think about or write down things you’re grateful for, I promise that your heart will begin to overflow in praise to the Lord. We have been given more than we could ever imagine, and if you take some time to recognize that, your heart will respond in praise before Him. 

As believers, we have so much to be thankful for. Not only have we been given earthly blessings, like a roof over our head, clothes to wear, food to eat, etc., but we have been given an inheritance in heaven “that cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:28). This isn’t just a blessing that we experience temporarily here on earth; we have been given something that will last for all eternity and no one can take it away from us. If you want to experience this kingdom, you must come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. To know Him as your Savior, you must first recognize that you are a sinner in need of His salvation. We haven’t been left hopeless; Jesus came to this world to die on the cross for our sins, to be the necessary sacrifice and payment for our sins. If you accept Him as your Savior, you have the promise of experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven forever with Him. You can rejoice in thankfulness, knowing you have received the greatest gift that has been offered to mankind
During this season of Thanksgiving, may we remember to thank Him for all we’ve been given. May we also remember to thank Him even when we are no longer in this holiday season. He has given us all things, and through His salvation we have joy, peace, and eternal security.

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