What thankfulness can do

Old Testament 1 exam now completed. Very thankful for what I’ve learned; also thankful for the break from study. Now I can get back to the blogging!

Just sharing today a short list of 5 benefits of gratitude, which a fellow blogger posted over at “Revelling in the Overflowing Grace of God”. While most Americans are celebrating their Thanksgiving Day it is worth stopping to consider why we should build gratitude into our lives every day.

“Gratitude, the act of giving thanks, can:
1. Refocus our attention… Our lives are filled with distractions. Perhaps if we began our day with gratitude, we would not get up with the weight of the world on our shoulders.
2. Relieve anxiety… Most of us know Philippians 4:6-7. … do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Thanksgiving shoves aside anxiety and replaces it with peace, not just any peace, but the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding!”
3. Refresh our relationship… When I’m showing gratitude, it keeps me from thinking that it’s all about me and my needs. I’m focused on God instead of me. That one’s a little tricky, because I’m giving thanks for things that are important to me. Still, I’m giving glory to God for those things.
4. Reinforce our faith… Remembering God’s past faithfulness boosts confidence in his present and future grace.
5. Rejoice our spirit… “Thanksgiving is the best way to dig ourselves out of the doldrums of discouragement.”

Colossians 2:6-7 has some relevant words of encouragement to add here on the source of thankfulness:

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving! (I’ve never said that before.)

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