We live in a time and age when it seems like everything is out of control. Up is down; down is up; right is wrong, and wrong is right. We can’t control the national economy or the policies coming from our state capitols, or what we read from news sources. We can’t control how other people act or what they think about us. We can’t control the weather, although in the middle of winter, Michiganders sure wish they could. But there is one thing every one of us can control, and when we use it, we can change our outlook, disposition, and even how God responds to us. That one thing is gratitude.
Fix Your Focus
If you want to live a happy, blessed life, it’s important to fix your focus. Stop looking at all the ways people have hurt you. I could fill up this article with ways people have “done me wrong.” You have probably had at least as many negative things happen to you but focusing on our past pains and injustices won’t encourage, inspire, or move us forward. Gratitude, however, will.
You can choose to focus on the devil’s badness or on God’s goodness. Whatever you look at and think about will be what you talk about. Whatever you focus on will pull you toward it like a magnet. If you’ve encountered a lot of difficulties recently, maybe it’s because of where you’ve been focused. Fix your focus! Instead of meditating on the mess and stress, look at God’s goodness, mercy, faithfulness, and love, and you’ll be blessed!
Hebrews 13:15 says, by him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Thanksgiving is not only for one day a year; we should constantly give God thanks. The word fruit is karpos in Greek. It means production. In other words, giving thanks and having gratitude produces something in your spirit, soul, and body.
Ingratitude leads to lust because unthankful people always think they should have more. They never feel like they have enough, so they strive after stuff or money, or accolades. Many people have gotten themselves into debt trying to satisfy their fleshly need for more. Gratitude produces peace, joy, and contentment. Lack of gratitude produces covetousness, debt, stress, and anxiety.
Choose to be Grateful
Webster’s dictionary, the 1828 edition, defines grateful as having a due sense of benefits, kindly disposed toward one from whom a favor has been received; wiling to acknowledge and repay benefits.
A grateful heart acknowledges God, from Whom all blessings flow, as well as people who have helped you get where you are today. You wouldn’t be a Faith Leader if someone didn’t help you get there, so you should look for ways to express your gratitude toward those who got you where you are today and tell others about the good that was done on your behalf!
Most of all, every one of us should be so grateful to God that we cannot keep our mouths shut about His goodness, faithfulness, and love. Gratitude helps you to have more compassion for others; it is an effective tool against depression and anxiety. You can’t control other people, the weather, or what happens in the Stock Market, but you can control your gratitude. So, count your blessings and offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15)