My mother was good at reminding me of what was truly important in life. She was a constant source of inspiration and enlightenment in my walk with the Lord. Years ago, on one of her visits to Indy, I remember complaining to her about not wanting to clean up the kitchen after dinner. My mother gently urged me to be thankful for the ability to do so. She said that whenever I felt overwhelmed I should look for thanksgiving opportunities. When I didn’t feel like doing the dishes, I should thank the Lord for food on the table and a family that needed me. When I became overwhelmed with cleaning and laundry, I should thank God that it was only a few steps to my washer and dryer. When there didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, I should thank Him that my life was fulfilling and not boring!! I have never forgotten my mother’s words. Learning to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” has changed my heart and mind about my circumstances on many occasions.
There is power available through thanking God in the midst of stress and disappointments, as well as in the good times. The enemy’s strategy is to get us to complain and murmur when we face a trial, but speaking thanks is a tool to fight the enemy! When trials set in, try turning disturbances around by thanking God for everything that is good. Make a mental list and express it out loud. Thank Him for healthy bodies that can walk and move with freedom to complete required tasks. Thank Him for the strength He gives when overwhelmed by daily chores. Thank Him for the little miracles that sit around your table…for the little arms that hug your neck…for the noisy chatter of little voices. Instead of murmuring about irritations and difficulties, try speaking words of gratitude for evident blessings. You won’t have to look long and hard because God’s goodness is right in front of your eyes. It just takes a little practice to shift your focus from the difficult stuff to the goodness of God!
It is beneficial to give thanks to the Lord. (Psalm 92:1) A thankful heart brings power into our lives. The Greek definition for “thanks” relates to saying grace at a meal. In the same way, thanksgiving imparts grace into our situations. A grateful heart promotes the strength we need for victorious living, protection from the enemy and a peace which passes understanding. If complaining opens the back door to the enemy, an attitude of gratitude opens the front door to the abundant life Jesus came to give us. It’s just plain worth it to be thankful. It will bring new vigor in service and a calmer outlook on life. It will improve the mood of our homes and create peaceful relationships within our families. Our mouth is a tool to create harmony or discord in our homes. I heard recently that an attitude of gratitude will change your altitude…so come up higher. Choose to take control of your circumstances by thanking God in the midst of them.