(By Stephanie Reck) Choose – means to make a choice. You have to make a choice to be thankful. We have to sometimes CHOOSE to be thankful. Being thankful does not come as easy when we are heart-broken, despaired, overwhelmed or rejected. We have to CHOOSE our attitudes otherwise we can slip into complaining, discouragement, and eventually even depression. You might not feel like giving thanks, but remember it’s a CHOICE! Instead of giving thanks you may instead feel like calling your friends and talking about all what is wrong in your life.
Let me encourage you not to complain about your circumstances, first it will overwhelm you, then exhaust you and then cause you to feel sorry for yourself (self-pity). I am not telling you anything I have not told myself countless times, and that I have to practice continually; CHOOSING to be thankful. Being thankful is a choice. You can CHOOSE to be thankful or you can CHOOSE to be ungrateful. You may not have the spouse you desire, children, a prodigal child, or you may even be going through some sickness, but whatever season you are in you can be thankful for the many blessings that you do have. It is really a conscious decision to focus on what is a blessing verses focusing on what are your hardships and trials. There is always something to be thankful for.
Don’t get bitter by your life’s challenges and struggles, but see the silver lining in each circumstance. Being thankful and grateful will cause you to live with passion and zest for life. When we CHOOSE an attitude of gratitude our lives can be transformed and we can begin to have renewed purpose. If you are grateful and thankful it is very likely you then will be content. When you are content, you are then at peace with yourself and with others. Having the ability to be thankful is life-changing. I challenge you if you have struggled with being thankful to say out loud everyday (5) things that you are thankful for. This task will increase your gratitude and then your attitude. Don’t look at what you don’t have, what you have not accomplished, your fears and failures, and all your unmet desires. That type of thinking will weigh you down and cause you to have an unthankful heart.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24 I will give thanks due His righteousness, and I will sing praises to the name of the Lord, the most high. Psalm 7:17 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. Psalm 103:2 Count your BLESSINGS, name them one by one, Count your BLESSINGS, see what God has done! BE THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL this holiday season and COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS, ONE BY ONE!