Are you quick to give thanks or quicker to complain? I know I’d have to admit that my answer to this would be I complain first and if there were an Olympics for complainers I probably would be standing up there accepting the gold medal. Probably like a lot of you I could have most things be going really well in my life and which one do I choose to focus on? My mind without a doubt will focus on the one that that is still not quite where I think it should be in my life and not worthy of gratitude.
Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “The unthankful heart, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” An unthankful heart is at risk of missing out on all that a thankful heart has to offer to our stories.
Now, thanking God for the good things is usually not that much of a challenge. However, thanking Him for the negative circumstances is much less natural for us. But, the Bible does not say we should give thanks only in good times. Instead it challenges us, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” How can that be? Thankful for my blessings? Piece of cake. Thankful for my problems? Hello? We have a problem here.
Why is it so important to even be thankful for our problems? Because when we thank God, our focus shifts from the problem to the solution to the problem. To thank God for our problems is to trust that He is big enough to come through for us in any and every situation. And the only way to achieve this grateful attitude is to spend time daily in the presence of God. There, in the light of His presence, our problems and circumstances slowly drift into the background as heavenly peace gently alters our perspective.
Practice being thankful. Start your quiet time in God’s presence by lifting up gratitude to His great name.
Thank Him for all He has done:
“I will daily add praise to praise. I’ll write a book on our righteousness, talk up your salvation the live long day, never run out of good things to write or say.” (Psalm 71:14-15)
Thank Him for His saving grace:
“It is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Thank Him for all He is going to do:
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Thank Him for being God:
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Practice this attitude of thanks in His presence today, and you will discover that “Thank You” is a response for all occasions.