Around Thanksgiving our focus shifts into reflection and recognizing all of the blessings in our lives. A newer trend of making a daily list of your personal blessings has emerged even on Facebook. But did you know that “an attitude of gratitude” is a spiritual tool we have at our disposal for the war that is raging between good and evil in our lives?
Utilizing thankfulness in our lives does several things that aren’t apparent initially. If I’m being honest, the concept of thankfulness didn’t mean much more to me than a way to be polite in general. I considered it equal to other commands given to me by my parents, just like saying “please” and chewing with my mouth closed. But turns out it’s so much more than that!
Thankfulness is a weapon that combats our stressful situations. When we focus our prayers on thanking God for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us instead of on our needs, we activate peace within our lives. Consider this verse:
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV), Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard our hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Did you catch that part about how when we pray with thanksgiving, a literal peace is given to us? I can personally testify to that. When I concentrate my conversations with the Lord on thankfulness I am at ease about the upcoming tasks of the day, whether they’re monumental in my life or mundane. Being thankful demonstrates to God our faith by showing Him that no matter what is going on, we still trust Him.
Additionally, when we concentrate on thankfulness, it reminds us of His unwavering goodness in always taking care of us and meeting our needs. My pastor has shared with us a great way to remind ourselves of how much we truly have for which to be thankful. He uses a notepad and makes two columns. On one side he writes the date and the request he’s made to God and on the other he writes how God responded. What a great way to remind us of God’s actual involvement in our lives when we (I) get too busy to notice! I consider it a huge relief that I don’t have to “drive”; I can sit in the back seat and look at the scenery. The One who is much better equipped than I am is the “Driver.”
Satan does not want us to know we have this tool at our disposal. He wants us to freak out, make rash decisions, and try to take control of our own life circumstances, only to fail miserably. He is the author of destruction and is focused only on tearing us down. I don’t know about you, but that “ruffles my feathers” a bit. I for one am not going to let him do that! My God is bigger than the boogie man and I choose to let Him fight my battles. My job is only to be thankful that He does, in fact, do just that!
So, next time, instead of frantically searching for a life raft when we are drowning, let’s start first by thanking God for the sea.
About the Writer:
Natalie is a stay-at-home mom to two boys. Additionally, she occasionally works as an emergency room nurse and is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She and her husband have been called into the medical mission field and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for their lives.