God created everything for us. He wants us to receive all of His creations. The only stipulation is that we receive them with thanksgiving. It is through thanksgiving that we are able to appreciate what has been given to us. When we do not have appreciation for the things that are given to us we tend to misuse or abuse them. God wants us to be aware of how we carry ourselves. He does not want us to walk blindly through life taking and partaking as we feel. When we do this we fall victim to sin. Having a heart and perspective for thanksgiving gives us faith to trust and believe in Him for all we need and want. Through thanksgiving we can steer clear of sinful habits and ways that will only trip us up.
1 Timothy 4:1-5 NIV
When we let thankfulness take the lead in our lives we become more aware of what should be treasured. Oftentimes, we allow the world to tell us what treasure should be. In many cases treasure is seen as something materialistic. However, do not be fooled. Anything we place above God can be considered treasure. This is why it is so important to have gratitude to God first for everything we have in our lives, from the materialistic to the relational and intangible. As believers and followers of God, we must never lose sight that our treasure lies in heaven. While we are on earth our treasure is to shift our focus heaven-ward in all we do. There is nothing on earth that can fill us the way God can. We are blessed to accept Him before all esle, as the peace and joy that comes from Him surpasses what any treasure of earth could.
Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
A Story of Gratitude Bringing Blessings:
I have not always been grateful for the circumstances of my life. However, the more I find gratitude for what I have and what is around me, the more blessings that come my way. I used to think I needed to work harder or force my way through life for goodness to come. I have learned that that was faulty thinking.
I started to learn this when I was closest to losing everything. I had put my work above everything. More than work, I had put my value and self worth into my position. I felt entitled to what I did and the things I had because of what I did. Then the time came that none of it mattered. I realized that I could lose it all and have nothing to show for it. This was the moment I finally surrendered it to Him. I said out loud that He could take it all; house, cars, clothes, everything; because I trusted He would make another way.
When I surrendered the treasure of this world, He gave me back the treasure of my heart's desire, peace. From that day on I have tried to live with thankfulness for everything I have been blessed to have and do. I do not want to take Him for granted, because it has only been with Him that I have discovered the true treasure of happiness in this life. There is an ease to everything I encounter now. I am grateful.
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:
- Write down how you receive the creations of God. Do you receive them with gratitude?
- What do you treasure? Write down what brings you sustained peace of the things you treasure.