How brazen of me
Such a claim I made - that you and I could revolutionize our lives by choosing thankfulness! And yet . . . I will say it again: you can revolutionize your life by getting intentional and choosing to be thankful. If you need a refresher of the first Briefing on this subject, here is what I wrote a few days ago:
Several weeks ago, I was invited to speak at a women's harvest dinner in Laguna Beach (California) on a Friday night. Before I uttered a word into the microphone, one woman I met inquired about my topic. When she heard 'choosing thankfulness', she said, 'Oh, I need this. It doesn't come easy to me.' Huh, I guess I had never considered that some folks do not find it easy to be grateful . . . then when I suggested that we can actually change our attitudes--whether or not we view the glass half empty or half full, I really garnered some attention, folks sat up to hear what I had to say.
So, here's a bit more to chew on: Revolutionize your life . . . choose this. Part Deux.
No one would argue that contentment is a sought-after thing. My mom was the most contented person I have ever known and yet, according to our culture's standards, she did not have a lot of reason to be. Yet Paul said he 'learned to be content no matter his circumstances.'1 Paul knew that giving thanks to God was a key part of true contentment, as he had talked about in an earlier letter,
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.2
To amplify that a bit, "In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."3
"Impossible!" you say. "Ridiculous! Makes no sense. Do you know what I am going through?" Well maybe.
As ridiculous as it sounds, this mantra of mine, gives us a clue to having peace even in the midst of the worst of circumstances: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.4 Turns out that mantra is actually something else Paul wrote - pray, but thank God at the same time as you are praying. Yeah, so my mantra for decades is actually scriptural truth from Paul's letter to the Philippians.
Catch this, Friends. If we pray about our circumstances in all things, but no matter our circumstances, give thanks to God - we have peace. It is not logical, it is not natural - however, when we match up our natural with God, we have something supernatural. In this case, we have peace in the midst of trials because we obediently thank God for who he is and what he is doing - in spite of what we see, in spite of what we are experiencing. Oh. Friends. He. Is. Good.
Though it seems counter intuitive, when we thank God all of the time, no matter our circumstances . . . he is present. Who God is doesn't change when we are up against it! Thanking God all of the time-no matter our circumstances-exhibits our faith, that God is indeed good, and he is always at work. And being thankful puts our hearts in the place to continue to recognize God in the midst of difficulties.
In this day that trumpets free choice, may I boldly suggest that we choose to become people of thanks-giving - offering up 'thanks' to those who deserve our gratitude, and especially to the One who most deserve our thanks?
Grace and Peace to you,
1 - Philippians 4.11-12
2 - 1 Thessalonians 5.18, NIV
3 - 1 Thessalonians 5.18, AMP