'Tis the season for giving!
Gratitude is so important, especially with the holidays rolling around the corner. It’s easy to think of the things we don’t have or think of the things that didn’t happen. But how often do you think of the things that DID happen? Most importantly, how often do you acknowledge God’s hand in your life?
Due to the current events that have occurred this year, I'm sure it's easy to say "This year has been the worst yet." But is that truly the case?
Granted, this year might have been the worst year you've ever experienced, but was it really ALL bad?
I was having a conversation with a friend and she mentioned that just when she thought 2020 was the worst year, she reflected on how many great and positive things have happened to her and her family. This year has definitely been rough, but don't discredit the GOOD! I firmly believe that if you would reflect on the things that happened this year you will find that God worked some things out on your behalf.
When we begin to recognize and reflect on all that God has done we ought to give Him thanks. Why? Because if it had not been for the Lord who was on your side where would you be? Really think about that. Despite the many things that happened this year God kept you, Amen!
I understand, expressing gratitude is easier said than done. But what I've come to learn is that expressing gratitude towards God is simply 'acknowledging God in every situation.'
If you woke up this morning, give thanks. If you have gas in your tank, give thanks. If you have a paycheck coming in despite the current hardships, give thanks! If God has provided for you in more ways than you can count, GIVE THANKS!
It's as simple as saying, "Thank you, God." Gratitude can be expressed in various ways, as long as it's genuine.
Here are some things that I've learned over the past year about how to express gratitude:
1. Keep a daily gratitude journal- Sometimes sitting and reflecting on all God has done for you is the best thing to do. Reflecting on the life He's blessed you with and thanking Him for always keeping you is an amazing way to acknowledge His hand in your life. Keeping a record of all God's done in your life will make you appreciate His good-works. It will also help you to remain strong in your faith. If you ever had a doubt in your mind on whether or not God was working, your journal, and your life, is all the evidence you need!
2. Prayer- When we're praying we should always thank God. Verbalizing to God how thankful we are to Him honors Him. When we pray, we shouldn't always just ask for what we want, but we should acknowledge God's goodness in our lives. We never want to take His goodness for granted. So the next time you're praying try to start with a "Thank you."
3. Praise & Worship- Praise and worship can be a joyful or intimate moment you have with God. All of that depends on your form of praise and worship. You can sing songs, fall to your knees in reverence, or dance! Using your body as an instrument of worship is an outward way to honor God. You are, in the literal sense, expressing your gratitude to God.
4. Service- If you have the heart to serve, God honors your heart. Service starts in your home. Serve those whom you live with by simply being kind to them. For example, if you have household chores no longer complain while doing them. Be thankful that you have a home, be thankful that you are able-bodied and can do the chores, and be thankful for your family. You can also serve in your church or serve in your community. These actions show God that you care for His people and that you honor His will. By serving others you are expressing a selfless act, and God honors your heart for having the right attitude to serve.
5. Your life- Your life is an example of God's grace. You should show gratitude to Him by honoring His will and living a life that is pleasing unto Him. Show Him that you are thankful for the body He has placed you in and that you will protect His creation (you!). The more you strive to please Him to less you try to live a life without Him.
I encourage you to try some of these methods and take note to how your life will transform when you begin to acknowledge God and all that He's doing in your life.
How do you express gratitude? Let's chat!