Its pretty hard to be content if we aren’t thankful for what we already have. If the spirit of thankfulness isn’t there, we begin to forget how blessed we really are. Sure it is easy to look around at others and see what they have. It then becomes easy to start feeling like we deserve that too. Our hearts can then become dimmed to the many blessings in our own lives. We can lose the spirit of thankfulness and in essence water the seed of discontentment.
What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
Have you seen that quote floating around? It is super convicting to me. It really puts into perspective for me how I can’t take things for granted. It takes the focus off of what he has or she has and places it on what do I have? Am I thanking God on a regular basis for what he has blessed me with? I did nothing to deserve it, but he has still blessed me with it. I think it grieves him when we are constantly trying to attain new things in place of having a grateful heart for what he has already given us.
Previously I talked about seeking God’s will for you on your journey to contentment. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” God wants us to be thankful. He does so much more for us than we can comprehend.
Ephesians 3:20 “…unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” He oh so worthy of our praise and thanks.
To put it in perspective a little better, think about yourself. If you gave someone a heartfelt, costly, and amazing gift, how would you feel if they half heartedly received it. Then went out and bought something new and better. It would most likely hurt your feelings. How much more does it hurt our heavenly father when we do not express thankfulness for what he has given to us so abundantly? Maybe you don’t feel like you have too many earthly possessions. Or you don’t have close family ties. Maybe it’s hard to find something to be thankful for. I think that is just a consequence of living in America. I have experienced first hand extreme poverty on a mission trip. They were not discontent and unthankful. They were completely the opposite. They were instead happy and so overly thankful for the small, oh very minute thing we did for them. They were the most content I had ever seen anyone, yet they had nothing compared to what I was used to. They found something to be thankful for and were blessed with contentment as a result.
At times when I begin to feel discontent with what I have, I try to think on all the blessings I really do have. Instead of comparing myself with others who “seem to have more” I try and think on what life would be like if I weren’t so blessed materially. I think about those people in Juarez, Mexico and I am ashamed that I even let my mind wander to believe I don’t have enough. There are so many different pieces in the puzzle of life, so many different things that make up who we are. If we only look at one piece of someone else’s life we are missing their whole puzzle and how if fits together. We can’t be thankful when we are constantly picking puzzle pieces from others lives. We will always find someone who has it better, or who has it worse if we have that outlook. Instead lets try and focus on what God is doing in our life that is abundantly more that we could ask or think. Give him the thanks because he truly is blessing you in so many ways, noticed or unnoticed.
Scripture to ponder:
James 1:17- “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father…”
Pslam 118:1- “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: his mercy endureth for ever.”
Homework for the Heart:
Take a moment to write down everything you are thankful for. Give thanks to God for all these blessings.
Linked to: What You Wish Wednesday