Did you know your choices about thankfulness reflect your relationship with God? They reveal your level of commitment and love back to God. They measure your trust in Him. And they determine whether you will follow through in 2 things: obeying Him and resting in Him. All these show how much gratitude you have and what kind of perspective you live with daily.
If thankfulness tells this much about you from your inside out, what can you do to get more of it? And how do you live unafraid to show who you really are?
The first thing to do is to think Scripturally. God has given you everything you need to live your life on a practical and spiritual level. (2 Pet. 1:3) All these provisions and resources are in addition to forgiveness and eternal life. God has set you up to totally succeed. You have abundant blessings present even in trials. Blessings don’t just go away when you have losses. If you are alert, you will see blessings everywhere. Whether or not you recognize this is a matter of the character you choose.
The second thing to do is realize some things about your character and free will. You have full control over what kind of person you become. You decide what character you will exercise each day. How you interact with others. How you use resources. How you relate to and think about God. What you do with your spare time. What you allow to linger in your private thoughts. Where you let your heart go.
Thankfulness is NOT a feeling. You may not feel emotions that resemble thankfulness. The good news is – you don’t need them. Thankfulness is a decision. A choice you make to be increasingly aware of your blessings – even those still present in great trials. Practicing thanks is more of an intellectual exercise than an emotional one. However, the more you practice it, the more thankful you become. Your perspective shifts. Your heart comes alive. What you practice is what you become! Be a person rich in gratitude.
What are the bonuses that come your way from choosing to be rich in gratitude?
- You stay close to God’s heart.
- You can hear God better.
- You sin less. It’s hard to sin when you are authentically grateful. Maybe that’s one reason God commands so often to be thankful, to rejoice, to be grateful. He wants to help you stay away from sin.
- You ensure your own character development and fitness for godly living.
- You become a joy and an encourager to others.
- You may grow close to certain other believers in Jesus who are aiming for these same high caliber character qualities.
- Finally, you become a model for others to look up to. Be humble about this when it becomes your reality. But recognize that others need this. So, give it – freely, gently, humbly.
Let your troubles in life be transformed into something of value. Trust God and yield to His loving kindness. You mean so much to Him. Let Him turn your sufferings into joy as you choose to be thankful.
In the blackest night, the stars shine brightly. If you focus on them, the blackness becomes a dramatic backdrop. Being a grateful person of perspective empowers you to partner with God. Then you watch as He transforms your life troubles into a backdrop to dramatically portray His incredible glory.