Once in a while I get what I perceive as small or big challenges during prayer time. Those challenges are little or big adjustments I need to make in my life. The Holy Spirit is an amazing coach, guide, motivator and encourager. He always promotes Jesus and He helps us be more like Jesus every step of the way. Being on a journey with Him is absolutely wonderful but He sometimes puts a mirror in front of our spiritual face and points out the traits that need to be sharpened, modified, altered or readjusted. A recent challenge I received was to live a life of thanksgiving. It sounds delightful and it sounds very feasible but when you think about it, thanksgiving is not always in our everyday vocabulary and it doesn’t always transpire in our behaviors and actions. A life of thanksgiving goes beyond the weekly shout-out we give to God in church. It is more than a “thank-you for this meal, Lord.” It is a lifestyle of thanksgiving. It is deeper than we imagine. It is not something we turn on and off but something that becomes us and that is second nature. I have taken up that challenge and my wish is to live out this life of thanksgiving that is such a precious and beautiful way to live. I want to also invite you to join me in that challenge and make it a priority to replace whining with thanksgiving and complaint with praise.
The people of faith we read about in the Bible are people who thanked God all the time. The people of faith that I know, are very good at giving God the glory for everything. They are excited about everything because they see God’s hand in everything (that is good, pure and noble). They praise God all day long and they have a great habit of thanking Him even when there seems to be nothing to be thankful for. They live a life of thanksgiving and their words and actions echo gratitude and love for the Father. It is remarkable to see how no complaints come out of their mouths. It makes a huge difference. People gravitate around them because they are like a breeze of fresh air in this stuffy world where whining is a custom. We don’t realize how detrimental complaining is. It’s bad for the soul, bad for our spirit, tough on the mind and even harmful to our bodies because it sends very negative vibes that generate negative feelings that end hurting our health. Complaining is like telling God we don’t like what He has given us.
A life of thanksgiving does the opposite of what complaining does. It focuses on the positive and it sees the glass not half full but full to the brim. It celebrates the good and it minimizes the bad. It centers around the Lord and it leaves the enemy behind. It doesn’t dwell on the past but it magnifies the beauty of the present. It looks at the details of life and appreciate every one of them. It thanks God for the big things and for the tiny little things. It is consistent. It is relentless and it is powerful. A life of thanksgiving is a life of joy. It knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It refuses to waste time on moaning and backbiting. It is grateful for the people around it and it has something good to say about everyone. A life of thanksgiving is a life of love. It is a life that knows how much love is in the Lord. It rejoices over love. Please join me in the life of thanksgiving challenge. Thank the Lord for everything. Thank Him more than you complain about life. Remove the frown and put on the smile of thanksgiving. If you don’t know where to start, thank the Lord that you are able to thank Him for anything. Thank Him for the freedom to thank Him. Change your lifestyle and make it a lifestyle of thanks!
Suggested reading: Psalm 9:11; 2 Corinthians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 9:11