Philippians 4:6, 7; Colossians 3:15, 16, 4:2
Are you truly thankful to God? Search your heart deep-ly; being thankful implies much more than a phrase ut-tered without much thought. We are blessed beyond what we can imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10). But pump-ing up our awareness of our blessings is often neces-sary, as we tend to forget. Here are three helpful ideas:
Being thankful requires a recognition that there’s something to be thankful for. How blessed are you? Or maybe a better question is, how good are you at recog-nizing your blessings? Most significant blessings are not material. Paul’s words to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:6-8) indicate that food and covering, against the backdrop of a growing Godliness, should be sufficient grounds for contentment. Boy, that really breaks it down into ba-sics! In a world that often judges status by possessions and money, believers must get priorities straight. Think about health- family- friends- your Christian community- the material things you do have- the presence of God- the blessing of eternal life- the sacrifice of Jesus for your sins…on and on. Let’s remember what we have instead of obsessing about what we don’t have.
Being thankful recognizes that not everything is always perfect. In fact, it rarely is. Sometimes we must look hard to find the blessing in a bad situation. The promise of Romans 8:28- that in all things God is working for our good- becomes twisted in our thinking to mean, “everything is always good.” Then we are embittered when it becomes obvious everything isn’t. To seek the deeper purposes of God in a tragic or tough experience is hard but necessary to grow up from baby Christians into mature wholeness (James 1:2-4).
Being thankful recognizes One to whom we can be thankful. Dispensing with the idea of “luck” and casting yourself at the feet of a Father who oversees every as-pect of life with a loving concern that no one could ever match. Making fellowship with God a priority. Getting to know Him through familiarity with His Word. Making prayer a priority and growing in dependence on Him. There’s no substitute for awareness of God as you go through each day.
Being thankful does not happen by accident. It’s a mindset we can and should cultivate!