This time of year it is fairly common to ponder things we are thankful for. I am usually a glass half full kind of gal. I like to try to see the bright side and the best in people. I am human and I do fail a lot though.
I was recently studying Colossians when I hit these verses:
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.
Wow. Do you overflow with thankfulness?
When we put our roots into the Lord, into His Word, our faith is strengthened and our vision, our focus changes.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
(Emphasis mine in above verses)
When we let God’s peace rule our hearts, it’s a lot easier (note that I did not say easy, but easier) to be thankful, no matter what is going on in our lives. We know who is in control.
Be always thankful. Sing to God with thankful hearts. Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God. A thankful heart. Catch a theme in Colossians?
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Easy? No, but we were told this path would not be.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
Consider it an opportunity for great joy. Consider is more of a mental exercise than human nature. for it to become habit to look for the good, we have to consciously make that effort.
Why is it so important to have a thankful heart?
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
The world is watching. If we do not have the joy of the Lord, why would they want to know Jesus? HIf we are always complaining. Always arguing. Where is the difference between the followers of Christ and the people of this worldly generation? Where is the light? The salt?
To do everything without complaining is a tall order, one I fail probably daily. Multiple times. Yet, I have found that if my heart is focused on Him, the more I give thanks, the more I overflow in thankfulness, the less room for complaints.