Sunday, November 2, 2014

Living With a Thankful Heart

Have you ever noticed how much the Bible talks about thanksgiving?  Neither had I...until I started looking and was pleasantly surprised.

The story of thanksgiving can be traced through the entirety of the Bible, culminating in the resurrection of Christ, and continuing in our daily lives as Christians.

Christ gave thanks in good and bad times.  When he saw the doubt of the unbelievers, he gave thanks to the Father, saying, "I thank you Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children" (Matthew 11:25).

Even Christ is noted in his act of thanksgiving: "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, giving it to them..." (Luke 22:19).

It isn't simply a quick thank you when something good happens in your life, instead it is constant despite circumstances and evident in the life of a believer.  The psalmist writes of this in psalm 105, "Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name.  Make known His deeds among the peoples!"

Make known His deeds among the people - sharing your joy and thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving can even be an aid in prayer - and more than an aid, perhaps even a necessity.

Colossians 4:2 says, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."

Watching the world with thankful eyes gives us the ability to see things that otherwise would have slid under the radar.  Drives to work, time with family, school work, quiet evenings, busy times, meetings with friends can all be environments for the development of a thankful spirit with the right outlook.

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To constantly wish you had something else, something better, is a direct waste of the chance to rejoice in what you are given and the situation that God has placed you in now.

Tony Gaskins, a motivational speaker, once said, "To be content doesn't mean you don't desire more, it means you're thankful for what you have and patient for what is to come."  This sums up the thanksgiving outlook exceptionally.  This attitude doesn't mean that you're going to happy all the time...but it does open up opportunities for contentment.

So, for the next thirty days, I'm going to work on being thankful...and being content.  I have a feeling that one is going to quickly lead to the other.  If you're interested in this little journey, and maybe are feeling like you could use a little more contentedness or thanksgiving (or maybe a little bit of both) in your life, you are more than welcome to follow along this month!  My (lofty and perhaps unreachable) goal is to post every day for the next thirty days.

I'm reminded of the classic literature story of Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter.  In the book, the main character, Pollyanna is a glad spirit with a very thankful heart.  She plays the "glad game," where she always looks at each situation she is placed in and attempts to find something to be glad about.  She plays the game no matter how happy or angering the situation is...and learns to be content even in the most uncomfortable and undesirable situations.

A fellow blogger once wrote, "The character of Pollyanna did not strive to ignore reality or avoid the truth of what was happening in her life.  Instead, she chose to face the negative situations head-on and look for the good in them, as any positive  thinking person would.  She chooses the path in life that so few people walk down - a path on which positive thinking blooms and inspiration can be found even in the darkest of places."

Thankfulness precedes miracles.  Thankfulness precedes contentment....and joy in the work that God can do in the lives of His children.

si vis amari ama

Chloe M. 

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