Choosing Thankfulness – a pondering by Holly Woodbridge
Good Morning! I am thankful for TODAY. How about you? Here we are figuring out how to do life in the twilight zone. We are learning flexibility and gratitude for things we took for granted a few months ago. That is a great lesson to learn through all these changes and difficulties. So, I am thankful. I am thankful that we can be together through technology. I am thankful that God walks beside me through everything that comes into my life. I am thankful that He continues to patiently teach me how to be the person He has created me to be. I am thankful for others walking with me as we learn to be more like Jesus. I am even thankful for tough days because I learn things on tough days that I never learned on easy days.
So, let’s talk about…Thankfulness! We are God’s people and we are called to live thankful lives. Let’s choose to be grateful and express it. It is true that we sometimes really have to work at it. But it can change your day.
Think about what a day looks like without gratitude, without thankfulness. Instead of appreciating what is around me, I complain and criticize, I whine, I ask for more, I moan, I grumble... Have you had a day like that? I have and it is no fun! So today, I choose to be thankful.
God has something to say about thankfulness-
1 Chronicles 16:34 Thank the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever.
This is a great way to start a day: Dear God, Thank you for being good and loving me always.
Philippians 4:6 Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks.
This one is a little tougher in these crazy days with all the constant changes and rumblings and fighting around our country. But what God says to do, I do, because I am His follower. I am to take my worry to God and ask Him to work it out and give Him THANKS. Period!
Hebrews 12:28 So we should be thankful because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And because we are thankful, we should worship God in a way that will please him. We should do this with respect and fear.
This verse gives us hope and a challenge: Give thanks because we are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. YES! AND then the reminder: be sure to worship God respectfully. He is the King of this Kingdom, so we bow before His greatness, while we gratefully enjoy His love.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
Doesn’t that sound like what we are living through right now? The newspaper headlines should all simply read: WHATEVER HAPPENS! And what does God say to do with this uncertainty… always be thankful. Remember, He is the King of the Kingdom that cannot be shaken, so when He speaks, we obey. We are to be intentionally thankful. That means we work at being thankful, even on “icky” days.
There are many times when I struggle with gratefulness and I have to work at it just like you. On those days I start like this: Thank you God that you are with me while I feel yucky today. Thank you that you never leave me. Then I might add, and thanks for clean water to drink and and food to eat and clothes to wear, people who love me, and…
Colossians 3:17 Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.
This is similar. Thessalonians tells us whatever is going on outside us, we are to be thankful. And this one says whatever is going on inside us, we are to be thankful. Sounds like a plan, eh?
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful.
That is a great one to finish with! Peace and gratitude. They just go together. You know what else comes with thankfulness? JOY! When we practice thankfulness, joy starts building up inside of us. We figure out when we live long enough that the STUFF of this world does not really bring joy. We might get a little burst of happy for a few days, but then we soon realize it doesn’t last very long and we want more and begin to grumble again. So, if you want joy, try making a list of what you are thankful for. God knows what is best for us!!! That’s why He wants us to practice thankfulness!!!
I come before You today And there's just one thing that I want to say
Thank You Lord, Thank You Lord
For all You've given to me, For all the blessings I can not see
Thank You Lord, Thank You Lord
(Thank you Lord – Don Moen)