Rejoicing in God is an incredible joy we get to experience in life. God wants us to experience all the joy He has to give, but whether or not we experience it is our choice. We must choose to give thanks. Leading with gratitude can completely change our perspective. It can widen our ability to see the things in our lives that are blessings and gifts from God. Gratitude grows us rather than limits us. Choosing to give thanks in all our circumstances may seem difficult, but it is like anything else in our lives. We must start and continue and when we continue we are able to build a habit. When the habit of leading with gratitude and giving thanks proceeds us, the blessing of obedience in God will always find us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
When we go to God in everything we cannot help but thank Him. Giving thanks changes our hearts and minds. It gives us an outlook that can see beyond the difficulty and what is yet to come. Part of giving thanks first is that it helps us align our thoughts with what we are not capable of doing ourselves. In a world filled with pride, we mistakenly believe that we can plan for and be responsible for all that comes our way. However, the moment we recognize that our life is not ours and we give it back to God we are able to see how we should be grateful for everything. Without God nothing would be possible, contrary to what the world would have us believe. Singing His praises only helps our perspective stay where it needs to be, on Him.
Psalm 9:1-2 NIV
A Story of Gratitude First:
Victim mentality is something I have known about and thought was so sad. I realized recently that I was in fact a victim to this mentality. I have gone through lots of difficulties in my life and so I have had a glass half full perspective. I suppose I didn’t want to be let down anymore if things didn’t go well.
When I realized this about myself it was because my partner always had the opposite perspective. He just knew how to be happy and not look for the bad in things. He always saw the upside. I started to realize that his capacity for giving thanks was always happening. He just exudes gratitude.
I wanted his kind of joy and peace. I decided to start leading with gratitude. I challenged myself to 30 days of looking for something to be grateful for no matter what my day was like. It wasn’t easy, but when it got hard I asked God for help. Everyday for 30 days I posted about what I was grateful for, even if it seemed tiny or insignificant. My entire outlook has been transformed. I literally tear up most mornings when I talk to God, just in awe of how thankful I am for all that He has done for me.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- How are you rejoicing and giving God thanks today? Write down one way you are doing this?
- Have you created the habit of gratitude first? Think of a situation that has been difficult recently. Write down one way you could be thankful for what has happened.