gratitude · Thanksgiving

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

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It was Saturday afternoon and I drove into the city to the local rehabilitation center.  Two church members are there recovering and I was going to visit and remind them of our love for them and prayers on their behalf.  After spending time with both patients, I walked out into the sun-filled day, very aware of the blessing of using my two legs to walk to my car.  I was thankful for the beauty of the outdoors.  I was grateful to have my vision to drive home and also to view the beauty of the fall day.  I was glad to remember that my husband was at home waiting for me.  I was so happy to have the joy of calling my parents to check on them.  There were so many blessings and so much for which I could  be thankful! Seeing others who were struggling who would love to have these joys reminded me how grateful I should be to God.

When was the last time you were made aware of just how much you had for which you could praise the Lord?  Often it’s after loss that we are made aware of how much we really had.

  • After being sick, we realize what a blessing our health was.
  • After losing a loved one, we realize how much we loved them.
  • After losing material possessions, we realize we were truly rich.
  • After a season of life is over, we realize that even in the hard times, it was a precious time of life.

Wouldn’t it be so much better to develop gratitude for all God has given to us while we’re enjoying it?  Paul said in Philippians 4 –

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Paul wasn’t wealthy.  He had received gifts from the Philippians to provide for his needs, and there were times they had been neglectful, but he had learned to be thankful for whatever God had given at the time that he was enjoying them.

Developing a heart of gratitude really only takes one small action. It requires that we are aware of the moment. Take a good look around you right now and make a mental note of all that you have. I’m not referencing just possessions.  I’m talking of the spiritual and physical blessings.

Write them down.

Put them in your journal.

Then pray and thank God for each one.  Thank Him for each person.  Be grateful for every blessing that came from His loving hand. A morning could sound like this…

  • Lord, thank you for that gorgeous sun rise.  Thank you for eyes to see it and a mind to know that You created it.
  • Thank you for strength to get up this morning, to put my feet on the floor and walk,
  • Thank you for coffee to sip and a Bible in my own language to read.
  • Thank you for the Spirit of God Who teaches me as I read your Word.
  • Thank you for the understanding of my need for change and the power of God to change me.
  • Thank you, Lord for dirty clothes to wash and a machine to do the work.
  • Thank you for the truth that you have a purpose for my life today, even though I don’t always feel worthy…

The whole day should flow from a thankful heart in each new moment!

We shouldn’t wait until the blessings are gone before we’re thankful.  Let’s learn to develop a heart of gratitude now.

Ask God to make you aware of how much you have to be grateful for while you are in the moment.

Even if you are one who is struggling today, if you know Christ as your Savior, you can thank God that the suffering of this life is as bad as it will ever get for the child of God.  However, if you don’t know Christ, this life is as good as it will ever get.  You don’t have to stay in that state of despair, though!  Christ died so you could have a relationship with Him and the assurance of a home in heaven! That is the best news for which we can rejoice! If I can help you or answer any question regarding salvation, please don’t hesitate to contact me using the email in the contact page. 

Thanking God for you!

denise a

 

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