“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” ~Psalm 50:23 (NIV)
For most of us thankfulness does not come naturally. A grateful heart and positive attitude is a choice and requires determination. Strangely, sometimes the more we have, the less we appreciate it. Years ago when we were children, in an attempt to enlighten my sisters and me and emphasize just how good we had it, our Dad told us, when-I-was-a-child stories. At the time, those stories went in one ear and out the other. But, it’s amazing how clearly they came back to us when we became parents!
Recognizing the blessings of God and understanding His provision for us, both spiritually and physically, will produce a grateful heart. Surrender to God is a key that unlocks the door to thankfulness. Submission to His authority and allowing Him to be Lord over all of our lives teaches us to trust Him. As we honor the Lord, God in our lives is increased and self is decreased.
Sometimes we may feel as if we have nothing to be thankful for. Perhaps the cares of life have distorted our perspective. Adversity, sorrow and the challenges of life produces thankfulness in some, bitterness in others. We must be careful not to allow the enemy to deceive us. If we have accepted Christ as Savior, we are children of God, and we have reason to greatly rejoice. G.K. Chesterton said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
There are simple things we can do that will help us honor the Lord with a thankful heart:
- Do not remember the bad times. Focus on the good and embrace lessons learned from hardship. (Philippians 3:13-15)
- Do not dwell on the past. Forgive and live for today, setting goals for tomorrow. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
- Do remember we are loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- Do remember we belong to Jesus and nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:35-37)
- Pray everyday! Worship Him with our lives and rejoice that our names are written in the Book of Life! (Luke 10:20)
William Makepeace Thackeray said, “‘Tis not the dying for a faith that’s so hard, ’tis the living up to it that is difficult.” Remember, we “can do all things through Christ” who is our strength and a thankful heart is a very good place to start.
(Photo credit: ©fotolia.com Alena Ozerova.)