This year has been challenging. Life at nearly every turn has taken us away from the comfortable and normal. It has been filled with surprise, change, and stress. And despite it all, we get to choose gratitude.
We Get to Choose Gratitude
Gratitude is an attitude of choice. In the midst of life’s circumstances, it is a decision to appreciate and affirm. Yes, we can focus on what is making us uncomfortable and complain, but doing so tends to make us more miserable. So why not express your thanks to God, to others, and even to yourself this week? After all, gratitude is also an attitude to express.
Look up to Express Gratitude
Recognize the source of all that we have. Praise and thank the great Creator, Provider, and Healer. He is the King, Redeemer, ultimate Sacrifice, and Comforter. Without question, He is all we need. It is also appropriate to pause and reflect on all that He has provided: food, shelter, work, school, relationships, health, and more. Express your gratitude to Him!
Look Around to Express Gratitude
Imagine being perpetually alone. While relationships can be trying at times, life would be quiet and lonely without others on our journey through this life. Focus on ways relationships have been a blessing. Think about people who brighten your day, make you smile, give, serve, and care. Think about family, friends, and those who have invested in you–whether living or deceased. Express your gratitude to God for them, but remember to express your gratitude to those who are living as well!
Look Inward to Express Gratitude
We know Jesus had it right when He said in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love for God and others is impacted by love (or lack of love) for self. An attitude check may be appropriate here. Consider the words of Psalm 8:
When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands…Psalm 8:3-6a, CSB
God has created each of us as a wonder. We are made in His image, and we are placed into a wondrous world. While none of us is perfect, there is much for which to be grateful: life, memories, sustenance, intelligence, communication, skills, personality, abilities, and much more. Express your gratitude to God for yourself!
Gratitude for Disciple-makers
I want to express my gratitude to each of you who invest in others through disciple-making: from pastors, to directors, to those who share Jesus, and those who help disciples move from babies to parents as disciple-makers. Thank you for investing in reaching, caring for, and discipling God’s people. Thank you for your preparation and leadership. What you do makes a difference! May the Lord bless and use you. Happy Thanksgiving this week and every week!