“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 HCSB
Give Thanks in Everything
There seems to be so much individual discontentment in our society about things we do not have, rather than gratitude for what we do have:
- “I need a new car!”
- “I need new clothes!”
- “I need the latest, greatest phone!”
Sound familiar? How many times do we whine about wanting more of something?
Focus on What You Have
Sure, there are times that we really do need to replace old things. But many times, we find ourselves, or at least I do, complaining about what we already have, not being good enough. We focus on what we do not have, rather than what we do have. And if you’re like me, what you have, are abundant blessings from God: everything you need and more.
On the last Thursday of November, we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. By tradition of that day, we reflect and give thanks for the blessings of the year. We all know we’ve been blessed. But do we realize our blessings from God are set apart from outward circumstances? James reminded us that “” Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…”(James 1:17) God’s gifts involve the deepest experiences of hope and peace.
How many times do we intentionally reflect on our blessings? If we literally count our blessings, past and present, we will be counting for days!
Here are some ways of reflection:
A Blessing Journal
Choose a time (past few years, months, or weeks) that you know God was working in your life. Each day, reflect and make a list of ways God blessed you during that period.
A Blessing Counter
At the end of each day during a month, write down the blessings of that day. After a few days, you will start recognizing the small stuff, the tiny blessings, as well as the big stuff.
A Family Blessing Jar
Place an empty jar or can in a common area of your home. Each time a person experiences a blessing, ask them to write about it and drop it in the container. At the end of the month, sit together as a family and read the blessings. You will probably realize blessings within your own home you never recognized before!
There are endless ways to reflect on our gifts from God. To be obedient, we must be intentional. God wants us to be thankful in everything, giving thanks to Him in everything, every day.
Let’s start counting (literally) our blessings every day; praising God for his grace, gifts and love, and cultivating a lifestyle of Thanksgiving and contentment.