“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Thanksgiving is one holiday in which we are doing what God created us to do. We were made to worship him, and gratitude is a core part of worship. Gratitude positions us to live lives that bring praise to God.
Gratitude Grows Contentment
An attitude of gratitude shifts the conversation in our minds. Bitter thoughts become better when we choose to think about what we are grateful for rather than what we are not. Instead of ruminating on what failed your expectations this Thanksgiving, choose to grow contentment by calling out what you are grateful for. In our family, we each go around the table and express gratitude for each person and for the year. As each person shares, the spirit in the room is lightened.
Gratitude Gives God Glory
It is hard to praise God when we are complaining. But when we profess what God has done for us to those around us, God gets all the glory. So too, when we overlook the ungrateful places in this life and choose to see God’s goodness in them, others around us learn to give glory at all times.
Gratitude Produces Joy
When people interact with us, do they come away with joy? Have you lightened their load? People are carrying heavy burdens that can be lifted by expressing gratitude. Helping others to recognize the blessings they might be missing can help them to rise above discouragement and choose joy.
This Thanksgiving, be intentional about gratitude. Count your blessings and demonstrate gratitude to those around you. Listen to this song by Brandon Lake and cultivate gratitude in your hearts as you gather together.