When our joy overflows we cannot help but share our thankfulness. Recognizing what God has done for us and the gift we receive everyday must be the source of our joy. When it is, we will overflow daily. What a gift we have access to, eternal life. The trouble is recognizing this over all the distractions the world throws at us. The reason channeling gratitude can be difficult is because we stop putting the source of true joy into focus. Salvation is the well of water that will sustain us. Knowing without a doubt that we will be sustained in this life and beyond is an incredible reason to praise and proclaim the name of God to everyone we meet. Praise and proclamation are outward expressions of gratitude. Sharing a heart of gratitude is contagious and paves the way for others to follow.
Isaiah 12:3-4 NIV
The book of Philemon is a letter from the Apostle Paul to a first century Christian named Philemon. In this verse Paul is praising Philemon for his work as a Christian leader. It is very high praise to personally thank God for someone. In this act, Paul is showing us how to encourage others. He is leading by example and sharing his gratitude for the work God has us doing. When we find joy in the work God has us doing we want to share in that joy. God wants us to encourage each other (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11). It is through encouragement that gratitude can grow. When gratitude grows, joy grows. It is all cyclical.
Philemon 1:4 NIV
A Story of Sharing Gratitude:
Learning to have a wide perspective on life rather than tunnel vision has not been easy. Tunnel vision seems so much easier because it allows me to focus on what the world tells me I should be striving for. However, tunnel vision has always come with worry, fear and anxiety. Not to mention it has never made me a nice person to be around.
I started to learn how to grow how I look at my life circumstances when I almost lost everything. The perspective shift I received was that nothing in this life is actually mine. I had to look up and realize that all I am and have is because of Him.
By the grace of God, I did not lose everything. The only way to explain how all the stars aligned is that God interceded. I am grateful today to have been put in my place to understand that I control nothing. I always want to share my gratitude with others for how amazing our God is, because the peace I live in now is unsurpassed. I want everyone to know this kind of peace.
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:
- Do you make recognizing what God does for us a priority? Write down how you are grateful for God’s gift of salvation in your life.
- Who are you encouraging today? Write down 2-5 people you can give encouragement to this week.