Being thankful has myriad benefits.
Being thankful rewards us with better health, cheerier dispositions and deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Thankful people enjoy a stronger sense of well-being, suffer fewer symptoms of depression and are less likely to seek revenge against others. They are more likely to have empathy for others.
We are told in Scripture, “In everything give thanks.” It is a directive straight from God, recorded by Paul. It is a divine expectation.
So how do you develop a habit of thankfulness?
1. Go without.
To gain a whole new level of appreciation and accelerate your thankfulness, go without something you take for granted!
Spend a day doing without food or electricity or hot water. Sleep on the floor a couple of nights. Give up sugar or coffee for a day or two. Spend a day or a week without television or radio or internet. Trust me, going without jumpstarts thankfulness.
2. Speak out thankfulness.
If you’re not ready to forego running water … spend a bit of time every day thanking God. You can speak it out or journal it, but see how many items you come up with. These are the first 25 in my journal.
- My salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Mr. 4-Ever.
- The kids.
- My parents.
- Holy Spirit guidance.
- Flannel sheets, slinky sheets and clean sheets.
- Heat in my house.
- A closet full of clothing.
- The color green.
- Appliances: refrigerator, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, etc.
- The work and ministry I do.
- All the safety I enjoy every day.
- Bills that are paid.
- My worn out Bible.
- The taste of raspberries.
- Freedom to vote.
- Ability to read.
- Coffee, tea, soda pop.
- Clean water – hot and cold.
- First responders.
- Indoor plumbing
- Mail service.
Thanking God reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us and the authority he holds in our lives.
3. Be thankful in all things – even if they’re hard.
Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, wrote: “The best way to demonstrate faith is to say ‘Thank You.'”
You don’t have to be thankful FOR rotten things, but you can and should be thankful in the midst of them. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
Find the silver lining. Look for the small bright spot in the situation. When my kids moved out, I suffered in my empty nest, but was thankful for how clean my house stayed.
In my grief after my man died, I lost all the weight I’d fought against for a decade.
When my mom was hospitalized with cancer, I got to spend lots of time with her.
All these hard seasons had a spot of hope or joy in the midst of them.
Thankfulness is character building and leads to a better emotional state, improved relationships, and clearer understanding of God’s heart.
Friend, I wish you the very best Thanksgiving. I hope your jello sets and your marshmallows don’t burn. May your turkey get done on time and be juicy and delicious. May the people at your table encounter Christ through you and may you spread thankfulness habitually!
What are you most thankful for and how can you develop deeper gratitude. Leave me a comment below! I read every one.
Verse of the day: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
Prayer: Father God, show my how very much I have to be thankful for. I know I lean towards grumbling, sorry about that. Remind me to be grateful fall all the things you’ve done for me and provided to me. In Jesus name. amen.