Giving Thanks

August 27

“Always be thankful… with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (from Colossians 3:15-16)

Adopting an attitude of gratefulness can be life-changing.

complaining-manThink about the type of people we don’t like to hang around… they are sour, never satisfied, always grumbling and complaining about something. They just leave you wishing you had avoided them (or had never met them in the first place).

Now think about God… Do you think that maybe He might not prefer to hang out so closely with those type of folks either? Sure, He loves them, alright… but as for sharing His closeness? I’m guessing… not so much.

positive peopleNow think about grateful people. They seem to see the silver lining in every dark cloud. They are truly thankful for what they have. They are grateful for their situations and they seem to find the best in others. They just seem to emanate hope… and good will.

Hanging out with these types of folks would be much preferable. I’m pretty sure it is the same for God. I’m quite certain there’s a special place in His Heart for those who are always thanking Him for the good things in their lives (and even thanking Him for the not-so-good [because they know He is with them through everything!]).

thank you for everything

This really is at the core of why the Apostle spends so much time admonishing us to be a people who are “giving thanks, in everything.” There is far more involved than just having a positive outlook on life. Our lifestyle of thanksgiving honors God’s Presence – and welcomes the closeness of His Presence into our hearts.

God draws especially near to grateful hearts.

As we stated yesterday, an attitude of thanksgiving can have a profound effect on our lives – bringing some very beneficial changes in how we live our lives…

It changes our focus. It seems inherent in human nature (the old you!) to take half emptyinventory of our lives and focus on all the things we lack. Like the proverbial glass, our lives are always half-empty. When we begin to shift our focus to all the things we HAVE, our whole attitude about life becomes different. Old school believers use to call this “counting your blessings.” When our focus transitions from what we lack… to what we have, our hearts also make a transition. If life really is a matter of our attitudes, then it seems best that our attitudes reflect a heartfelt gratitude.

It changes our mindset. The best way I know how to illustrate this is to tell you how beg-u-tothis attitude of gratefulness changed the way I pray. My prayers use to consist of my list of all the things I wanted God to do for me, and much time spent begging God for what I wanted. All this changed when I realized the importance of giving thanks to God… even in my prayers. Now, my every request begins with: “God, I thank you for ___________ (fill in the blank with something I know God wants for me)…” I realized the very essence of faith is a trust in the One who calls into being things that are not.” (Romans 4:17) If, indeed, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen” – what better expression of faith than to thank God in advance for the things He already wants to do. The mindset changes: from an orphan begging for something He doesn’t have, to a treasured child thanking The Father for what He promises to give His children.

giftspreciouschildren-lg

So in the end, a thankful heart is a heart that abides in faith. This is the heart who sees the faithfulness of God in everything – and is unashamed to let thankfulness spill out in every situation of life.

Prayer Focus: Each day, make me mindful to be grateful in all things… in all ways.

About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
This entry was posted in Daily devotional, Faith, giving thanks, the new you, True Christianity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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