“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you…”
1 Thess 5.16
This term we are wanting to go deeper together as a church community in our relationship with God. It’s something we’re calling “Deepening Spirituality”. And as part of that, this week we are having a Week of Thankfulness.
Why thankfulness? In many ways a thankful heart is actually the greatest gift God gives us – because gratitude is like the taste-buds of the Christian life. Gratitude is the thing that enables us to enjoy all God’s other gifts in the same way that our taste-buds enable us to enjoy all kinds of food. Gratitude opens us up to delight and wonder and humility. It makes our hearts generous. It leads to joy.
Getting everything that we want in life can often lead to us finding less and less pleasure in more and more stuff. But when we express gratitude we start to find greater and greater pleasure in smaller and smaller things. We discover that joy comes from appreciating and savouring what we already have.
Don’t wait until you start to feel thankful. God has commanded us to an action not an emotion. He commands us to make a choice to start doing some things – but what we do will influence what we feel. Why not have a go at one of these?
Tell your story
Set aside 20-30 mins to spend retelling your story back to God. Go back to the beginning. Think through your childhood and younger years – and remember back to God all of the people who you enjoyed and appreciated. Take your time and do this for each of the big chapters of your life.
Text some of those people that you have been remembering back to God. “I Was thinking about you today when I remembered BLANK. I am so grateful for your friendship in my life!”
Thanks for today
Maybe prayer works better for you when you write your prayers down. Keep a pen and paper by your bed. Before you go to sleep list 5 things that happened during the day that you’re thankful for. It might be something very simple like waking up and seeing the face of someone you love, it might be eating a great meal, hearing words of affection from a friend or completing a task at work. Do this for at least a week!
Thanks in difficulty
Take some time to thank God for all that is good in your life at the moment however flawed you might feel your current situation is. Give thanks for whatever good there is even if that feels hard and the good seems very small. Write those things down and re-read them every day.
Let us know how you got on. Blog here or post on the Facebook page. What other ideas did you come up with? What was the effect of thankfulness on your life?