Giving Thanks ~ A Grateful Heart

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“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

In the hustle of everyday life it is easy to forget about ordinary courtesy. There has never been a better time to give thanks in a world of pain, oppression, unemployment, fear and loss.  While we have God’s incredible blessings in our own lives, we sometimes fail to see His goodness and give thanks. It requires an act of will to start every day with true thanksgiving, but the benefits are worthwhile! If you focus on praising and glorifying God, you will create a very special relationship with Christ. Your prayer life will be transformed and your love for Him intensified.  Through your praise in thanksgiving you will become a stronger witness for Him.

While this past year may have brought me what seemed endless emotional and physical pain, it has also been a year of giving praise. While it hasn’t been easy, I relied on my beloved spouse, family, church, and friends to maintain strength by staying strong in my faith.  A dear friend of mine asked me this week “What is the hardest part for you being a Christian?” Without hesitation I answered “waiting.”  The waiting on His time, the waiting on His will, the waiting on Him.  But in all of the waiting, my endurance became stronger as I continued to praise God for carrying me through every challenge. While pouring my heart out in sincere thanksgiving and praising God, I felt so much more love for Him – even during “the waiting.” By giving thanks to God during the painful moments, I know in my heart I am prepared for any battle.

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The habit of saying “Thank you” enriches every aspect of our lives. Regardless of the circumstances, always be ready to express thanks.  You will soon discover how much joy you can bring to others. Apart from the fact that you enrich and bless the lives of others, your own life will be enriched. Never underestimate the power of gratitude.

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have
everything you desire. If you did,
what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes,
  they will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

(Words to Live By: 93.1 The Wolf)

It is so important to be thankful – not only to Christ, but to everyone. All through Scripture we hear the resounding echo of the praise of those who loved God and were grateful for His blessing. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Your faith and surrender to Christ should bring His joy to every area of your life. God is constantly releasing His kindness to people.  I sincerely believe with all my heart that we are creatures who are meant to give to each other – and we are meant to receive. In fact, it might be more accurate to say we need to give – we actually need to express our generosity, if only to experience the impact this grace has upon its recipient and how it indeed comes back to us in some magnificent way. I encourage you to always be a person who gives thanks in all seasons and circumstances.

Take a moment today to shower God with praise. Think about the remarkable things He has done. He is most worthy to receive our love and thanksgiving.  Is there someone you need to thank that is long overdue? What are you grateful for today?

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever!  Psalm 136:1

 

With Thanks,

Lynne Parr

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