We have a choice about what attitude we go through life with. We can either adopt a sour, complaining mindset, or one of gratitude and thankfulness. The wisdom to be thankful not only influences our thought lives, but actually enables us to be more productive. Studying God’s Word reveals how much we can accomplish with right-thinking.
Being thankful shifts our attention away from ourselves and toward God, keeps us humble and dependent on Him, and makes us grateful for what we have—even the little things. It also pushes out the spirit of complaining, makes Satan flee, and keeps the doors of blessing open. It even enhances our prayer lives when we devote ourselves to prayer with alert minds and thankful hearts.
Thankfulness is a powerful weapon against negative emotions. Believers are instructed not to worry about anything, but instead, to pray about everything. While we’re praying and telling God what we need, we should also thank Him for all He has done. Paul knew all about prayer; he wrote in his letter to Philemon that he always thanked God as he remembered Philemon in his prayers.
Life will never be perfect; it’s not supposed to be. When it throws something at us that we don’t like, deciding to give thanks anyway keeps us in control of our response to the situation. We’re to give thanks not for everything, but in everything; this is God’s will for us. Pondering how God’s grace affects our lives triggers thankfulness; thankfulness brings us into God’s presence by allowing us to enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.
As free moral agents, we can think however we choose, but God asks us to infuse our thoughts with thanksgiving. Our hearts and minds are closely connected. Letting gratitude into both empowers us to carry out God’s assignment for our lives and live in the peace He promised.
Lord, we thank you for teaching us the power of gratitude. A positive attitude enables us to be productive in doing Your work and gives us the advantage over negative thinking. We’re grateful for Your Word on this. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Colossians 4:2, NLT
Philippians 4:6, NLT
Philemon 1:4, NIV
1 Thessalonians 5:18