Cultivating a heart of thankfulness and being a thankful person doesn’t come naturally; it’s a learned behaviour.
As a child grows up, a parent teaches basic manners to their baby (through sign language) and/or their toddler even when they can’t fully understand the words yet. A child doesn’t naturally know to show thankfulness; it is taught and learned. And over time, you begin to expect to hear and see thankfulness naturally from your child without having to remind them.
What about in how we treat others as we grow up into adults? Do we show our gratitude? How about in our thankfulness toward God?
Because cultivating a heart of thankfulness is a learned behaviour, it means, this is a lesson we learn over and over again.
Thankfulness Isn’t Always Easy
A heart of thankfulness to God is certainly easier when things are going well. Such as a new job you’ve been hoping for, or a house or car you’ve been praying about. Perhaps a breakthrough in your health or with a struggling child.
But what about when you’re going through a tough time? Can you still be thankful?
Ephesians 5:20 says, “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Thankfulness isn’t easy when you’re encountering a hardship.
Hardship is painful.
You can cry out to God in the hardest of times, find something to be thankful about and continue on in pain.
It’s important that when we experience trials in our life, that we keep ourselves looking to the Lord as our hope. No matter what we don’t understand, God does. He’s always with us, never leaves us and makes all things will work together for good. These things in themselves are reasons to be thankful to God even through the pain of a hardship.
Why Be Thankful to God?
Thankfulness helps us to focus on God, and not ourselves
Ever see others around you and wonder if you’re experiencing all that life has to offer?
Maybe you feel like you’re missing out on a full and exciting life looking at others and what they have, or what you think they have. But, what we don’t know, is that while we’re busy looking at others, comparing what we don’t have to what we think they have, we’re telling the Lord (and ourselves) that what He’s given us and who He is, is not enough.
Thankfulness for who God is helps keep our focus on Him, instead of ourselves or others.
Thankfulness can help replace the spirit of fear
Anxious thoughts and worried feelings can run wild in our minds. While often these thoughts are not reality, they are so powerful that they can create reality. It’s important to know that these thoughts and feelings are not from God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
One way to combat and replace the spirit of fear is by meditating on God’s promises, trusting in the Lord and cultivating a heart of thankfulness.
Thankfulness reminds us that we are not God
We need God; without Him, we are nothing. In fact, we’re only here on this earth living and breathing because of Him.
Being the god of our lives means we live without involving the Holy Spirit. If we’re not seeking direction from the Lord and increasing our intimacy with Him through prayer, we will live by our own ways and our own strength, instead of the Lord’s ways and His strength.
Thank God for His guidance, love and plan for your life.
Thankfulness energizes us
When you think of being thanked by your toddler, spouse, friend or co-worker, it feels warming to have someone acknowledge what you’ve done to help them. In the same way, the one who’s saying, “Thank you”, shows appreciation and recognition for another person’s involvement.
As we learn again and again to be grateful and thankful to others and to God, it energizes us and is life-giving.
Cultivating a Heart of Thankfulness
Thankfulness to our great God can have many forms of expression – such as prayer, praise and worship, journaling, offerings, and obeying His Word.
To encourage you and cultivate a thankful heart, download this FREE 30-day Thanksgiving Scripture Challenge. Immerse yourself in thanksgiving to God by speaking out these scriptures and declaring life over you and your family.
FREE 30-Day Thankfulness Challenge
What are some ways you show your thanksgiving to God and to others? Share them with me below!
Anchored in Jesus,