What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
What would you have?
Since the Fall season makes us think of the holiday of Thanksgiving, our minds regularly turn to things for which we are thankful. But like a billboard on the way out of our town says, “Gratitude Has No Season” – and for the one who belongs to the Lord, that is so true!
The act of giving thanks to God draws us back into the presence of the Lord. It pulls our focus off of ourselves and puts it back on God and all He HAS done for us – even if we aren’t liking what we’re dealing with at the present time.
Psalm 100:4 is a familiar verse: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”
But the Message puts it this way: “Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank Him. Worship Him.’ (Psalm 100:4)
You see, we can not stay in the depths of the pit of grumpy or frustrated or discouraged or lonely or angry when we start making a list of thanksgiving to God. Thanksgiving might not change our circumstances, but it surely will change our attitudes. Then our attitudes affect how we deal with those circumstances surrounding us.
So, my friends…
ARE YOU DISCOURAGED?
• Start making a list of things for which you are thankful. Look around you. Write these things down, or call them out aloud.
• Do you have a roof over your head? Write that down. Thank God.
• Do you have plenty of food to eat?
• Are you sitting in something comfortable right now?
• Can your ears hear and your eyes see?
• Do you have clean clothes? A washing machine and/or a Dishwasher?
• Air and/or heat?
• Start your list with practical things. Then keep looking around and add more detailed thanks.
ARE YOU FRUSTRATED AT WORK OR HOME?
• Surely there are some things for which you can be thankful.
• During a difficult time – build a tower of thanksgiving. One brick at a time… And use each brick to climb above your frustrated attitude.
ARE YOU STRESSED OR WORRIED RIGHT NOW?
• Start writing down some things within your situation that are good or positive, some things that are much better than they could have been…
On a daily basis, I encourage you to get in the habit of listing things for which you are thankful.
Psalm 50:23 says, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”
Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever God gives. It is evidence of our faith and trust in God that even when we don’t see what He is doing, we KNOW that He is doing something. It is our unselfish gift to Him as we recognize how very GOOD He is to us.
Thanksgiving turns our eyes away from ourselves and brings them to rest on the presence of God.
Ann Voskamp, in her wonderful book, 1000 Gifts, says that, “As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.”
So for the third year in a row, I’d like to issue The Attitude Gratitude Challenge.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and although we may loathe to admit it, they aren’t always the “happy” times we dream of them being. We don’t always have a “joy-filled” heart during these two very busy and somewhat stressful upcoming months. Do we? So I want to issue a challenge to all of us (myself, included!):
For these next two months, EVERYDAY let’s record either a PRAISE to God for Who He is, or a THANKSGIVING to God for what He has done. Just (or at least) one a day.
However you want to do it, the challenge is to every day add one praise or thanksgiving to your list and make a conscious choice to “Praise the Lord…all you people!” And to “Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good…” (Psalm 117:1, 118:1)
Why? Adoration of Jesus and Gratitude to Him are automatic Joy-Magnets for the heart. They move our focus from where it usually is to where it needs to be. For a list of 100 Names of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, click here. For a list of OVER 900 names, click here.
I’ll be recording mine in my QT journal. Some people are posting their blessings on Facebook and/or Twitter. Our family is also going to be keeping a list on our refrigerator, where we’ll take turns filling in our praises and thanksgivings.
This is a beautiful downloadable and printable list from HelloBee.com. Isn’t it lovely? Download it here.
What a treasure we will have by the time Thanksgiving comes along! And by the time we celebrate Christ’s birth, we’ll have a wealth of evidence of the precious Gifts God has given to us in and through and because of His Son, Jesus.
God challenged our family several years ago to participate in “The Attitude Gratitude Challenge” – and per His instructions to us, we were to extend it through the entire month of December.
I can’t tell you how helpful this was to us all! As we approached the Christmas gift-giving-gift-receiving days, remembering to be grateful for what we have helped each of us keep our “wanter” in check.
We are taking the challenge again this year, and I’d like to invite you to join us. Will you?
Maybe God will lead you to pass along this challenge to others in your life. I’m looking forward to how God will be honored and blessed, and in turn, to the difference this will make in our lives as we close this year in praise and thanksgiving!
“Enjoy the little things in life…
For one day you’ll look back and realize
they were the big things.”
“Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord
for his goodness and loving-kindness
and His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul
and fills the hungry soul with good.”
Many blessings of the Lord to each of you, as we count them one by one! 🙂
PS: The quotes on here are downloadable and printable, in case you would like them. 🙂
Watch the Smelling Coffee TV episode on an Attitude of Gratitude below. 😉