THE ART OF THANKFULNESS

Hey friends, how are you today? Wow! Can you believe we are almost through with the first six months of the year?   Six months already, I can’t seem to wrap my head around that number.   What have I done during these months?  I know our world has certainly had its share of changes, but what about me; what have I accomplished? I will have to figure that out, perhaps review my ‘Wanna Be’ list from the beginning of the year.  What about you; what have you accomplished?  Have there some been joyful, jubilant occasions? Perhaps a few times of frustrations and failures? Throughout these times of distress, perhaps on some days, you responded like I do, at times; with anxiety or worry or even misery and anguish. 

Very few of us enjoy being around dissatisfied people; people who complain about everything and everyone.  They find so little joy in life and sometimes are quite happy to share their discontent with anyone listening. We are almost always listening, because getting a word in is practically impossible.  Most of us would choose not to spend time with unhappy and ungrateful people.  Next on that seat are the passive aggressive people.  They say everything is fine, life is good, BUT…  they blame others, or things, or circumstances, for everything  wrong with their world.  Taking responsibility for their circumstances, their behaviors is a foreign concept. I know you can think of at least one person who falls into either of theses categories. Maybe that person sounds too familiar?  What are we do to do with such individuals?  

Wellll… I would hesitantly say that we have all been one of these individuals at one time or another in our lives.  Thankfulness is hard to come by when we are actually going through difficulties. Most of us desire that the Lord rescue us from the emotional, financial or relational pain and “please Lord, do it quickly”. It is almost or should I say, impossible, to be thankful throughout our trials and tribulations.  We sometimes start off desiring to be thankful, but if the situation lingers, we find out quickly that ‘long suffering’ isn’t a natural trait we possess.  It is hard to be thankful because our present situation has overwhelmed us; we are sinking under the weight of our burden.  We go to the Lord and present our petitions before Him, but this situation is so consuming, that we have forgotten to be thankful for our blessings.  I have done it; I have been there. 

Here is a list of a few things I’ve tried and can guarantee does not work!  Here is what NOT TO DO:

  1. Disbelieve or distrust the promises found in the Word of God (Psalm 27:13,14)
  2. Forget to count prior and present blessings (Psalm 78:7)
  3. Envy others their allotment  (Hebrews 13:5)
  4. Feel entitled or deserving of God’s favors (Isaiah 44:27)
  5. Try to handle or fix problems in our own strength (Proverbs 3:5,6)
  6. Believe that this trial is more difficult than another person’s. (Matthew 11:28)
  7. Allow the trial to consume every thought and conversation (Hebrews 9:7)
  8. Bring troubles to friends rather than the Lord. (I Peter 5:7)
  9. Continually take back burden from the Lord by being anxious and worried (Philippians 4:6)
  10. Give the Lord a time frame to answer prayer (Isaiah 44:31)

There is a song sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither, entitled ‘Bigger Than Any Mountain’.  It is a good remainder of the power and majesty that belongs to the God we serve!  Here is the chorus to that song; if you know it, sing along 🎶 🎶 🎶

bigger than all my problem 

bigger than all my fears 

God is bigger than any mountain that I can or can not see

bigger than all my question 

bigger than anything 

God is bigger than any mountain that I can or can not see

How are you today? What have you accomplished these past months? What will you do differently these upcoming months?

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