Conntecting the Dots

5 Reasons to be Thankful

I’m sitting at the table in my boat-home as I write this and realizing that I don’t have to look far to find reasons to be thankful. In a world where millions are experiencing hardship, I have food in my fridge and freezer. The electricity works. A diesel furnace and two space heaters provide warmth. Clean water runs from the tap. I push a button and presto—fresh coffee brews.

Having lived in a third-world country for several years without electricity and indoor plumbing, I have a deep appreciation for life’s basics. I rarely step into a hot shower without whispering, “Thank You.” That said, I know I fail to express my gratitude to God as often as I might.

I recently listened to a Rick Warren podcast during which he spoke about the importance of giving thanks. “God directs us to do so,” he said, quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Then he referred to Deuteronomy 28 and began reading the blessings God promises to those who obey Him.

reasons to be thankful

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:

Your towns and your fields
will be blessed.
Your children and your crops
will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be blessed.
Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be blessed.
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be blessed.

Pastor Rick continued reading, and I listened with interest because honestly, I’ve never really thought about the concept of God blessing us for giving thanks.

 

I often teach about the physical benefits of expressing gratitude, such as our body releasing serotonin and dopamine, the hormones associated with pleasure and contentment. I teach about the need to follow God’s directive in this regard because He knows how our bodies function best and because, after all, He is God. But the concept of God wanting to bestow a plethora of other blessings on us for giving thanks in all things—not so much. One never stops learning, right?

This new insight inspires me to become even more intentional about growing an attitude of gratitude—especially when I’m tired or feeling stressed.

 

It’s late and I’m tired as I write this on the eve of American Thanksgiving Day, so it’s the perfect time to put my good intentions into practice. Here are five reasons to be thankful right now:

  • I have a comfy bed.
  • God never slumbers or sleeps.

“He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.” (Psalm 121:3-4 NLT)

  • Jesus prays for me even while I sleep.

“Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” (Romans 8:34 NLT)

  • When I wake in the morning, God will still be with me.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139:17-18 NLT)

  • I will wake to a fresh, full dose of God’s goodness.

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:23 NLT)

Now it’s your turn. What are your reasons to be thankful?

PS: Here’s a quote I’ve found meaningful about thanksgiving. It’s the kind we write on a card and post on the fridge!

“God is in control, and therefore in EVERYTHING I can give thanks – not because of the situation but because of the One who directs and rules over it.” ~ Kay Arthur

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