Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)
Thanksgiving comes around once a year. It is a time to gather together with family. We watch some football and eat a nice meal. While the day is supposed to be about giving thanks, the actual practice of giving thanks is often neglected.
The Apostle Paul says to give thanks in all circumstances. In other words, gratitude is something to be practiced every day. It is not something to be reserved for one day of the year at the end of November.
But instead of practicing gratitude, it is often much easier to count all the things that are not right in life. However, when we engage in an intentional discipline of giving thanks, good things begin to happen. Here is a list of some of the benefits of gratitude:
Gratitude creates joy
It is much better to count your blessings than it is to wallow in your shortcomings. When you practice gratitude, you realize that life is not as bad as it might seem. You begin to see that life may be better than you perceive. Satan wants to rob your life of joy and will work overtime to make you blind you to the blessings God has granted. Gratitude will help you see the good things.
Gratitude saves you money
Gratitude builds contentment. When you have contentment you will not feel the need to buy that latest and greatest gadget with money you don't have. The goal of advertising is to make you feel discontent with your life and convince you that buying the latest and greatest is the key to your happiness. But if you are already happy, you will realize you do not need it.
Gratitude creates hope
When you practice gratitude, you will see you have much more in your favor than you realize. You will start to recognize the gifts God has given you to make a difference which you have taken for granted. You will begin to see God’s ability to empower you for more. Too often people lack trust in God’s ability to prosper them. But gratitude will work to conquer the fear of failure.
Gratitude opens up opportunity
As gratitude opens your eyes to see the world in a new way, you will begin to new see opportunities. Opportunities present themselves to those who have the eyes to see them. It’s not that you don’t have opportunities. It is that you don’t have the eyes to see them. As we are more attentive to God's work in our lives, we will see things we did not see before.
Gratitude creates healthy relationships
We can easily take the people in our lives for granted. It might be our spouse, volunteers at church, or the waiter at the restaurant. We all enjoy being appreciated. We all relish when other people take notice of what we are doing. And other people will appreciate when you offer them gratitude. Expressing gratitude towards others can do amazing things in your relationships.
Who can you express gratitude toward today? To whom can you show appreciation? Write a note. Send a message. Tell them in person. Let them know your appreciation. It will be a blessing to them. It will be a blessing to you. It will be a blessing to your relationship. It will be a blessing to God.
- Make a list of the things that you are grateful.
- Create a gratitude journal to keep each day.
- Write some thank you notes to people you appreciate.