Earlier this year, my daughter told me about something she had incorporated into her quiet time with God. She had a special journal and as many days as she had time she would write in this journal seven things for which she was thankful. I thought that was an idea worth replicating, so I had a journal that I was not using and began to do the same thing. I started this May 19, 2017. Almost every day, I would write seven or more things for which I was thankful. When I got to the last page dated October 28, 2017, I had recorded exactly 1,000 things for which I was thankful. Every day, I included something about God for which I was thankful.
The things I included were not always magnificent things, but the things I wrote are not necessarily the point of the exercise. The point of the exercise is to make me more aware of various circumstances and be thankful for them. The point of the exercise is to be aware of how God works in all the little things of our lives to fulfill His purposes. The point of the exercise is to be thankful for the people in our lives that impact us or we have the opportunity to serve, encourage, and minister.
The point of the exercise is to BE THANKFUL!
But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. (II Timothy 3:1-5, ASV)
Being unthankful is in some pretty serious company. It seems being unthankful is another indicator of the true intent of our heart. Our gratitude shows what is in our hearts. If we have ever kept company with someone who has these qualities (boastful, haughty, unthankful…) we know that the basis of these is because they are so in love with themselves.
A heart of thankfulness comes from a heart of humility. When we are thankful, we realize that someone outside of ourselves did something for us. When we notice the little things that people do and voice our gratitude, it could quite possibly turn their day around. Sometimes, in making someone else’s day by being grateful, it also could make our day.
I challenge you as we focus on the festivities of Thanksgiving to remember the reason for this holiday. It is not to get a day off work (at least for some of us). It is not so we can become gluttons and see how much we can eat. In your life it may have become something else.
Thanksgiving is about thanking God for what He has given us. Whether He has given us plenty or we are in want, God is to be thanked. Start a journal and write down the things for which you are thankful. Begin to notice the little things in life and thank God for them, and then thank those around you who helped make those little things happen. It will change you. It will change your outlook. It could quite possibly change your life.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7)