Thanksgiving has come around yet again. It’s the season and week we as a culture have set aside to intentionally give thanks and celebrate the blessings we have received. While Thanksgiving can conjure unpleasant memories or expectations of family drama or reinforce the sorrow of losing a loved one, the intent and purpose of this celebration is to give thanks. It’s a time where we can stop our fast-paced lives and take a moment to reflect and be grateful for all that God has given us.
I know for many this year has been less than ideal. The world is still in turmoil, the complications and consequences of a world-wide pandemic is still acutely felt, and the relational and emotional strain of the past year is taking its toll on friendships and people’s overall health. So it is even more important than ever that we take time and posture our hearts towards gratitude because gratitude is what fosters and sustains joy.
Joy is greatly lacking today. So many people are weighed down with life, clouds of worry, depression, and dissatisfaction that keeps them from experiencing true joy. Life is no cake walk. There are troubles and sorrows which we experience that can color our perspective and steal our joy, which is why we must continually fight for joy.
But how do we fight for joy? How do we keep the darkness and pain of this world from overwhelming and clouding our perspective?
Gratitude is the answer. Gratitude is a heart posture that fosters joy. Paul outlined this clearly in Philippians 4 when he exhorted us to rejoice always and then shared that he had learned the secret of being content in any season of life. The secret was a heart of gratitude.
Could you use some more joy in your life? Are you feeling the weight of depression, anxiety or discontentment clouding your vision? Use this season of thanksgiving to turn your mind and heart into a posture of gratitude, for therein lies the secret to abiding joy.
God has richly blessed all of us with much and there are countless things we can give Him thanks for. Therefore, this Thanksgiving let us foster joy by taking time to count our blessings, naming them one by one, and remembering the goodness and faithfulness of our God.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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