Maybe life isn’t going well for you right now. Maybe you aren’t enjoying school. Maybe uni isn’t all you thought it would be. Maybe you don’t like your job or maybe you're experiencing family problems. We all know that we are supposed to be grateful but if we are really honest, being grateful isn’t always an easy choice.
According to the Bible, giving thanks is a necessary choice - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Really, in all circumstances?
Philippians 2:14 says “do everything without grumbling or arguing”. Really, everything?
Just like we can complain about anything, there’s a way to experience thanksgiving about anything—thanking God, being grateful about anything and everything. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown into prison. Did they start complaining to God about being in prison and about how sore their bodies were? No, they started praying and singing hymns to God!
Everything that you have in your life comes from God. We know this because God provides for us, he meets our every need. James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.
When we stop and give thanks, it doesn't change God’s heart but it changes ours. It brings peace and increases joy.
So, how can we spend less time complaining and more time being thankful?
God will give us the strength to be grateful in all circumstances if we ask him. We can also show gratitude by thanking God for what we already have, what he has already done and praising who he is.
It isn't wrong to say there’s a lot of hard stuff in the world right now. But does Jesus inform the way we see this life and the way we see eternity?
Take thoughts captive because when we feed them they grow. The opposite of gratitude is envy which fuels bitterness and greed. Remember that comparing ourselves to others, and what they have or can do, is the "thief of joy”. But instead gratitude fuels generosity and encouragement and makes what you have enough.
Make a list of what you are grateful for.
This is a really practical way to increase our gratitude. We forget what we have when we focus on what we don’t have. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for right now.
Ask your friends to keep you accountable to complaining, envy and bitterness.
Ask them: “Do I complain a lot?” Or “What do you see in my life that I should be thankful for?”
We have been given so much more than we could ever imagine. There are other people seeking and praying for the things that you’ve got, so be thankful for each and every one of them!
As followers of Christ we have THE most to be thankful for - God in his mercy and by his grace has provided a way to heaven through his Son and we are going to live forever and forever.
Whatever you're facing, he is more than enough to get you through—sometimes we just forget. Since when was Jesus not enough?
Becoming Something: spotify:episode:1fEXtuCkdVTOlrZkteaBn5
Views from the Porch: spotify:episode:2oXKYLDBSoNnOYZ9F6yVzW
Research studies on gratitude:
https://positivepsychology.com › ne...The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Effects on the Brain
Other related verses: Hebrews 12:15, 1 Corinthians 10:5, Proverbs 3:34, Philippians 4:12