By Misty Umholtz
“Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
With Thanksgiving around the corner, how can we improve at giving thanks in ALL things, even the hard and difficult things in our lives?
Recently, I’d been going through a rough patch in this area so I would say out loud everyday what I was thankful for…I figured that might be a good place to start. I had a list in my head of all these amazing blessings in my life, but the problem was that I spent more time hung up and focused on the things I was struggling with, rather than my blessings. Maybe you can relate?
I started thinking, What if I am supposed to praise God for who He is and be thankful for even all the hard and difficult things that He has allowed to go on in my life?
Do you ever notice how you feel after worship at church on a Sunday Morning? When we spend a few songs praising God, thanking God, thinking of who He is and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus. Do you feel lighter? Does your heart feel full? Does His presence feel near like you can almost touch Him? This is what happens when we spend time doing what we are supposed to be doing.
The Bible tells us, our Purpose is to praise and worship Him. In fact, it says if we don’t do that, the very rocks will cry out to Him because everything He created was with the purpose of praising Him.
When we praise God, it puts Him in His rightful place and us in ours. It automatically gives us the right perspective. This is what gets our eyes off of ourselves. This is what fills our holes, our dissatisfaction, our restlessness, our disappointment, our frustrations. They get smaller and vanish when we are Praising Him with a thankful heart.
When our eyes are on Him, all the struggles in life seem to fade into the background. As the old hymn goes, ‘the world grows strangely dim in the light of His glory and Grace.’
Praise is our pathway to Thankfulness. When we are praising God for who He is and what He has done for us in saving us through His Son, then our heart is full of thankfulness. It is not based on what is going on in our life at the current moment but it’s based on Who He is and what He has already done for us on the cross.
The cool thing about praise is we can do it anytime, anywhere. We can do it at home or in the car, just turn on some worship music and start praising Him. What a great example this is to our children who are watching us live out our faith everyday. This is what I want to focus on. I will focus on what I am created to do and I will be thankful in all things.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalms 100:4