Nothing turns us into bitter and unhappy people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. That’s why I am excited to be taking us on a 10-day journey towards thankfulness as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Beginning November 10th at 9am in my Encouraging STAR Stories Facebook Group, I will guide us through my devotional video series to find out what it really looks like to be thankful for things like the cross, our talents, and yes, even our trials. My hope is that we will walk away with a more deeply-rooted faith and hearts richer in gratitude. I’d love for you to join me!
As we get ready for this 10-day journey, let’s think about thankfulness.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Just the other day, I was far from rejoicing and giving thanks. Instead, I had an ungrateful heart because I was complaining about our refrigerator.
It has an automatic sensor that knows how much water is needed to fill the glass based on the size and weight of the glass. It’s pretty cool and super convenient: you don’t have to press a single button to get it started.
Yet, this sensor was not working properly and sure enough, my water was overflowing and spilling out all over the kitchen floor. “This idiotic thing isn’t working right! I don’t have time to clean this up and now my whole morning is just ruined.”
Ruined over an automatic sensor gone awry. Ruined because of an over-abundance of flowing water (the irony is not lost on me here).
Shortly after, I glanced at my phone and read an article that Russia had just bombed and destroyed Ukraine’s water supply in Kyiv. Pictures showed tired and weary families lined up for what seemed like miles with giant empty jugs, hoping to get just a drop of safe drinking water to take home.
I read the comments of a Ukrainian pastor who said, “My country is torn by war, and half of the members of my church have left, yet there is reason to celebrate. God takes care of us. He is good.”
Suddenly, my day didn’t feel so ruined anymore. In fact, it made me feel a little foolish and spoiled. God just ripped the covers off my ungrateful heart.
Now, I like to be careful when gratitude appears to come into play because of someone else’s lack: “You lack, but I have, so now I am thankful”. I don’t think God wants us to be thankful simply because we have what others do not have.
By the same token, I don’t think we should feel guilty for having what others do not either. Should our refrigerator work as advertised? Or the new television you just bought? Yes, it should. And we have reason to be dismayed.
But our hearts…are our hearts only full of thanksgiving when things are working, moving, and going according to plan? Are they only full of thanks when we feel like we have abundance and blessings? Let’s not forget to thank Him for blessing us each and every day in ways that we don’t even see, even through the trials. We can give thanks in ALL circumstances.
I’d love for you to join me on this 10-Day Journey of Thankfulness, beginning today at 9am in my Facebook group. Feel free to bring your Bible along, a cup of coffee, and something to write on. Or, just bring yourself!
Host of Encouraging STAR Stories, STAR 99.1
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