Why live intentionally grateful? Because being grateful ushers in real happiness and joy in every day. It honors God, and a God-honoring life is also honored and blessed more by the Lord. Living a thankful life is God’s will for us.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess. 5:18)
How do we live intentionally grateful? Here are some ways:
Begin and end your day with songs of praise and thanksgiving
This is genuine offering of thanksgiving, honoring Him for the blessings of the past day and for another new day and fresh mercies from His hand. When we sing to thank and honor Him, without any traces of bitterness, discontent, resentment, pride or doubt in our hearts, the Lord will lift us up and we will receive our portion of joy and inspiration to face the day, and anointing for our ministry, whether in writing, speaking, or teaching.
Earnestly thank Him for every blessing, faithfully mentioning each one, even in the hard things – the trials and difficulties – for we know that He never leaves us as we go through them. For it could be worse. So, we thank Him in the highs and the lows.
What I usually do, after I’ve sung some praise songs from my songbook and while still feeling the presence of the Lord, I sing spontaneously – usually maintaining the tune of a chorus but singing out my own words that come from my heart. It’s like singing out your prayers.
Be content with what you have
Most often, the root of unhappiness is discontent. When we live in constant discontentment, we dishonor God. It’s like rejecting outright His provisions and His plans and purposes for our lives, and we will find it hard to thank Him sincerely, if at all. To be discontented is to be ungrateful. Letting ourselves wallow in discontent makes us the more fruitless, for it grieves the Holy Spirit, and we will not bear its fruit. This is where misery comes in. (See Fuller Joy).
Do not compare your life with others
If the fruits of discontent are unhappiness and misery, its root is the practice of comparing oneself to others. When we live habitually looking at others’ lives and constantly comparing our lives with them – what they have, what they do, where they go – we miss living out our own lives the way God planned it, and we will not be able to appreciate what we have and what the Lord does in our lives. The surest way to discontentment and joylessness is to try to live outside of the life God has set for us. How can one feel grateful and happy when one’s heart and mind are not present in one’s own home, own family, own surroundings, even in one’s own self?!
Embrace the life God has given you and thank Him daily for it
Take your eyes off of others’ lives and be wholly present in your own life (your home, your family, your ministry, your private moments, your days), living it as zealously as God has purposed it. Claim your own portion of God’s gifting, anointing, and any other blessing that your heart desires for His glory. Humbly yield yourself to God’s leading and direction for your life for He has perfectly planned it.
Turn ordinary times into times of celebration and thanksgiving
Praising, worshiping, praying, reading and discussing God’s Word and talking about His testimonies together as a family make up a spiritual banquet which our souls feast upon. Even a simple gathering around the table to sit down and eat could be turned into a celebration of God’s goodness as we relish every grain, every morsel of food, each drop of water or nectar of the earth’s bounty, thanking God for the love and mercy that gathered laughter around the table. (Did you know that just to be able to chew, relish, swallow and digest food is a precious blessing to me? For there were months that I couldn’t eat more than a few teaspoonfuls of clear soup and soft rice. See Table of Thanksgiving).
Show our children God’s wonderful creation – the vastness of the azure sky, that color which infinitely rolls like unto eternity?, the beauty of the sun setting on an ocean of crimson, palette of colors only the Creator could mix perfectly… – and be awed together with them by the glory of the Creator.
Live to be a light and inspiration to others
You’re a child of God, so instead of living jealous and covetous of others’ lives, live to be a light and inspiration to them so that they, too, will seek the one true living God. If we live intentionally grateful, the Lord’s light will be surrounding us and our inner joy and peace will be seen and felt by those around us, prompting them to say, “I’d like to have what she has.”
(If you haven’t received the Lord Jesus Christ in your life and are not sure if you are saved and heir of eternal life, and you are so searching for true peace and happiness, know the keys of salvation here).
Linked to Sharing His Beauty, Multitudes on Mondays, Better Mom Mondays, Encourage My Heart, Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Women Living Well, We are That Family, Teaching What is Good, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays