Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lord, Help Me Have A Thankful Attitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Lord, Change My Attitude

Gratitude: to show that a kindness received is a valued and appreciated

The post about complaining shows us how strongly God feels about a complaining attitude. In Numbers 14, He told a whole generation that He couldn’t take their grumbling anymore and sent them to the wilderness. He chose to give the blessings He had in store for them to their children because they refused to accept them. Complaining is a sin and it is a BIG deal to God. God never shrugs off complainers- He deals with them. If you are a chronic complainer, just set your watch: discipline is coming. Complaining isn’t just a little problem with attitude: it’s a major problem that poisons you and everyone around you. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord, and invites the enemy to cause havoc in our lives.

With every situation, you can choose thankfulness or grumbling, and that choice leads you to either the abundant life or the wilderness. Joy begins to flow when you stop focusing on the glass half empty and begin focusing on the “cup runneth over” blessings of God. Giving thanks is a choice you make every day. We must replace a complaining attitude with a thankful attitude.

Gratitude must be lived as a discipline. Just as a professional athlete must practice his sport, a chef must make a meal over and over to perfect it, a musician must practice scales, we must practice gratitude. Thankfulness is a decision! This is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have given to me from God is a gift. When a prayer is answered or something wonderful happens, before you talk to anyone else, go to God immediately and thank Him. Set aside time daily to give thanks to God. In ancient Israel, the Levites officially appointed a time to stand in the temple every morning and evening to thank God (1 Chronicles 23:30). In a later generation, we find Daniel kneeling to thank God three times a day (Daniel 6:10). Create your own traditions with your family to cultivate a thankful heart.

If ingratitude is allowed to become a habit, it will weight you down with burdens of life leading to bitterness, depression, and despair. Emotions are untrustworthy and should not determine your choice of attitude. Circumstances should not determine your joy.

Read Romans 1:21, 28, 29-31…This description should stop us dead in our tracks. Scripture is clear that ingratitude is very serious. An attitude of gratitude is a sure sign of the heart; a Godly heart is the foundation for a Godly life.

- In what area of your life do you need to ask God to open your eyes and reveal His goodness to you?

Scriptures:

· Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Ephesians 5:20

· And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. –Colossians 3:15-17

· Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. – James 1:17

· Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. –Philippians 4:6

· Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! -2 Corinthians 9:15

· Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! –Psalm 106:1

· Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! –Psalm 105:1

· And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

· Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. –Colossians 4:2

· That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! – Psalm 30:12

· And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. –Colossians 3:17

What is God showing you??

· Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.

· You can thank God even when you don’t feel thankful.

· To be grateful is to recognize God’s hand on everything that touches your life.

· God’s will for your life is to be thankful.

· A thankful attitude is a big deal to Jesus.

· Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have than what you don’t.

· Faith grows in the soil of thankfulness.

· Thankfulness is a decision.

· Be grateful for what God has done. Be thankful for what God is doing. Be thankful for what God will do.

Conclusion:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

God is working on you. He is elbow deep in your life. His tools are his steadfast (faithful) love. He’s staying with you to accomplish what He wants to fulfill in you. God finishes what He starts what He finishes. He cares more about you becoming like His Son than you do. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). Isn’t that amazing?? Surrender to His chisel and be thankful He loves you so much He’s never going to stop.

 

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**If you (or someone you know) is tired of living in the wilderness and wants to live in the promised land- to know the fullness and fulfillment that only God can bring- then get in the habit of rehearsing God’s goodness. Put a stack of 3x5 index cards on your nightstand, and at the top write “I am thankful for….” Number 1-5 and fill out a card every night before bed. Something amazing will happen to your attitude!

Reference: MacDonald, James. Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 1, 2008)

2 comments:

Jaclyn @ Haute Granola said...

I'm a huge believer in the notion that you get what you put out into the world. I always try to be grateful and put out positive thoughts, actions and energy into the world. In turn, I feel that I've gotten a lot of positivity and good things back...I have an amazing husband, beautiful child, and wonderful life.

I have had (had being the operative word) friends who've done nothing but complain about EVERYTHING from their husbands, to their weight, traffic, you name it. In turn their lives always seemed to have more and more problems.

I think that if more people approached life with a grateful heart they'd see all the beauty and goodness around them.

Great post!

Sherri Teat said...

This post has really hit home for me. I am such a negative person and always complaining and I am so ready to stop. I have prayed a few weeks ago for the strength to stop and the wisdom to be aware that I am doing it and then you post this right on time. Thank you so much you are such an inspiration and I LOVE your blog.