Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Happy ThanksgivingO give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:1

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. We are all busy decorating, cooking, and preparing for family meals together. I have been blessed with some unexpected family time this week. This week is Thanksgiving break for my kids and me. Also, due to some rainy weather my husband has been unable to work, so we spent all day together yesterday making memories. I have been making preparations for the many different foods I have been asked to cook for Thanksgiving dinners with family. I have enjoyed watching my husband and my children play together here at home.

When I think about Thanksgiving I think about family. Thanksgiving for us has always been a time of food and fellowship, and football, as I am sure it has been for most people.

Today I want us to take a minute and reflect on the real reason for Thanksgiving. I understand that we all enjoy the food, the visits with family, and the occasional football game, but I do not want this to cause us to lose sight of what thanksgiving is really about.

As we enjoy this thanksgiving season I want us to remember to have  an attitude of gratitude. We need to make sure that between cooking and cleaning up, visiting with family, and cheering on our favorite football team that we do not forget to thank God for all His many blessings. We must remember that it is only because of Him that we are able to celebrate with the friends and family that we have.

My dad offered a challenge to our children Sunday at children’s church and I would like to extend this challenge to you as well. Some time other than meal time, stop for a moment and thank God for something. It is amazing how much we realize that we have to be thankful for when we start counting our blessings.

Thanksgiving is a time of fellowship, fun, food, and family. Let us take the time this week to thank God for the ability to enjoy each of those things. We are a blessed people. Let us today give God the honor and the glory for the blessings we receive.

I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. I am going to take the rest of this week off from blogging and enjoy the blessings that God has given me. I pray that as we go through the rest of this week that we will remember to give thanks to God for the blessings that he has bestowed upon us. I pray that you will have an attitude of gratitude.

A Challenge For You and Me

Sun rise

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
   I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”

Psalm 9: 1-2 (NIV)

How often do we stop to thank God for all that He has done for us? How many times do we pass up an opportunity to tell others about the things that God is doing in our lives? Do we make it a point to be glad in the Lord? Do we make it a point to sing the praises of God and His goodness?

These Scriptures that I have chosen for today point out four specific things that I believe, as Christians, we should be doing. As I read this passage this morning I realized that in my own life I do not do these things as often as I should. I would like to take each one and talk about it and then I have a challenge that I would like to share with you.

The first part of this passage reads, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart.”How often do we stop to thank God for all that he has done in our lives? I am afraid that if we are honest with ourselves we will find that we do not thank God nearly as much as we should. Take a moment and think about all the things we have to be thankful for in just one day. God has blessed us beyond measure and we need to remember to thank Him for those blessings every single day.

The next thing that David says is, “I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” When was the last time you stopped and told someone about all the wonderful things that God has been doing in your life? I know in my own life, I am much more apt to tell someone about the problems I am facing rather than all the things I have been blessed with. I believe that as Christians we should make it a point to focus on all the wonderful deeds that God has done and is still doing in our lives rather than to focus on the trials we are facing. Yes, we all face troubles and trials, but I believe the more we focus on our blessings the smaller our trials and troubles will seem.

The third line in this passage tells us, “ I will be glad and rejoice in you.”Are you glad today? As Christians we should be the happiest people around. No matter what difficulties come our way we can be glad and rejoice in spite of those difficulties because God is taking care of us. We are told in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in the world, but that we can also have peace because Jesus has overcome the world. That should give us a reason to be glad and to rejoice. Let us always do our best to be glad in spite of our circumstances and to rejoice in the Lord no matter how what difficulty we are facing.

Finally, we read in the last part of this passage: “I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”  Now, I am sure some of you are thinking, “You do not want to hear me sing.” I am here to tell you today that God does not care what you sound like; He wants you to praise Him anyway. I read a quote the other day that said, “When you can not sing, hum.” No matter how you sing praises of the name of Jesus, just remember for whom you sing. I do not believe that this verse means that you must literally sing, I believe that it means we are to praise God at all times. No matter how we choose to sing our praises to God, the important thing to remember is that He is worthy of our praise. We have been blessed beyond measure and we need to sing about that every day.

I want to challenge you this morning. Make it a point today to do each one of these things. Ask yourself these questions today:

Do I thank the Lord with all my heart?

Do I tell of all His wonderful deeds? 

Am I glad and do I rejoice in the Lord?

and finally,

Do I sing the praises of the Lord?

If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, I want to encourage you today to focus on that and begin to work on it. Make it a point today to thank God. Tell others about all that He has done in your life. Rejoice in the Lord and sing His praises.

God is so good to us. Whether we take the time to realize it or not, we are blessed beyond measure. I want these words to be a challenge to you and me. Let us take our focus off of the troubles around us and let us begin to count our blessings and to thank God for all the things that He does in our lives.