Do we have plenty to complain about?
Any one of us could create a long list of things of what we want, but don’t have. Very easily, we can enumerate lengthy, detailed reasons why not to be thankful. In any given situation, we can find plenty to criticize and find fault with.
But we need to concentrate on what God has given us and how blessed we truly are. An exercise in gratitude will help change our perspective on things and lead us to express our praise to the greatest Giver of gifts. Often, our self-absorption can blind us to the lavish gifts God has heaped on us, those amazing gifts which we can no longer see, but which everyone else around us can.
So let’s try something new. Let’s count our blessings, instead of our sorrows and complaints. The benefits to thanking God are enormous.
In the past decade, there has been an increased awareness that vital areas in the life of patients have largely been neglected. These include the positive influence of what believers already know to be true—forgiveness, gratitude, optimism, and hope.
Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, suggests that gratitude:
- Helps us savor positive life experiences
- Bolsters self-worth and self-esteem
- Helps us cope with stress and trauma
- Encourages moral behavior
- Strengthens relationships
- Inhibits comparing with others
- Diminishes negative emotions
- Keeps us from taking joys for granted and thus extends our joy
Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to praise God and give thanks to him. Being grateful is a key component of a Christian’s life. This is one of those aspects of our life that will increase joy and contentment with everything around us.
Consciously get rid of the me-first and poor-me pity parties.
When you build into your life this discipline of praise and thanksgiving, and giving yourself away to others, you’ll soon start to become the person God originally created you to be—loving, generous, and more joyful.
Will you be happy all the time? Will you become the perpetually smiling Christian of popular folklore? Not likely. There’s nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that we are to be victorious or deliriously happy every minute of the day. However, in time (God’s time) we’ll grow more confident and have the strength to overcome the problems that come our way. We’ll possess a peace and contentment—a peace that passes all understanding—that comes only through having the Spirit of Jesus dwelling and reigning in us.